stationary and stationery - the difference

The Quick Answer
Stationary means not moving.
Stationery is writing or office supplies (e.g., paper, pens).

Stationary and Stationery

The words stationary and stationery sound almost identical, but they are very different in meaning.

Stationary

The word stationary means not moving or still. (It can be used as an adjective or an adverb.)

Examples:
  • We had to wait patiently in a stationary position for the school shop to open.
  • (Stationary is an adjective in this example.)
  • We had to wait stationary for the school shop to open.
  • (Stationary is an adverb in this example.)
  • The hostages were ordered to remain stationary.

Stationery

The word stationery (with an e) means writing and office supplies (e.g., writing paper, envelopes, pens). (It can be used as an adjective or a noun.)

Examples:
  • The office junior is in charge of ordering our stationery.
  • (Stationery is a noun in this example.)
  • The office junior is in charge of filling the stationery cupboard.
  • (Stationery is an adjective in this example.)
  • Save 50% on all office stationery.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
What are adjectives? What are adverbs? What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words