Definition of stationary in English:


Syllabification: sta·tion·ar·y
Pronunciation: /ˈstāSHəˌnerē


  • 1Not moving or not intended to be moved: a car collided with a stationary vehicle
    More example sentences
    • The line of sight stabilisation in elevation and azimuth provides high hit probability for stationary and on the move engagements against stationary and moving targets.
    • The weapon system is stabilised in two axes, which allows the vehicle to engage targets stationary or on the move.
    • The course mostly dealt with giving and taking commands, as well as keeping in formation, and obviously shooting moving and stationary targets.
    static, parked, stopped, motionless, immobile, unmoving, still, stock-still, at a standstill, at rest; not moving a muscle, like a statue, rooted to the spot, frozen, inactive, inert, lifeless, inanimate
  • 1.1 Astronomy (Of a planet) having no apparent motion in longitude.
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    • If the planet were stationary, the slow-down effect would be equal to the initial acceleration, so there would be no net gain in speed.
    • After being retrograde since July, the planet appears stationary on the 30th and thereafter returns to normal west to east motion.
    • Polaris, the North Star, appears stationary in the sky because it is positioned close to the line of Earth's axis projected into space.
  • 1.2Not changing in quantity or condition: a stationary population
    More example sentences
    • ‘In India the problem is more the standing / stationary condition of the temple elephants,’ says Chiran.
    • When it was assumed that these mutations were neutral, their frequency was higher under shaken than under stationary conditions, possibly due to oxygen stress.
    • When the solution is placed as a thin film under stationary conditions, concentric or spiral wave patterns develop in the solution.


late Middle English: from Latin stationarius (originally in the sense 'belonging to a military station'), from station- 'standing' (see station).


The words stationary and stationery are often confused. Stationary is an adjective that means ‘not moving or not intended to be moved,’ as in his car collided with a stationary vehicle , whereas stationery is a noun that means ‘writing and other office materials,’ as in I wrote to my father on the hotel stationery .

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