AskDefine | Define stationery

Dictionary Definition

stationery n : paper cut to an appropriate size for writing letters; usually with matching envelopes [syn: letter paper]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • italbrac UK: /ˈsteɪʃənəri/, /"steIS@n@ri/
  • italbrac US: , /ˈsteɪʃənɛri/, /"steIS@nEri/



stationer + -y


  1. writing materials
    When school finished he threw all of his stationery away as he no longer had any need for pencils and exercise books.

Usage notes


writing materials

Extensive Definition

confuse Stationary Stationery is a general name given to paper and office supplies such as envelopes, notepads, pens, pencils, erasers, greeting cards, paper clips, thumbtacks, staples, etc. The term "stationery" is frequently used to refer more specifically to paper used for written correspondence (usually decorated or personalized), sometimes with matching envelopes.
Originally the term "stationery" referred to all products sold by a stationer, whose name indicates that his book shop was on a fixed spot, usually near a university, and permanent, while medieval trading was mainly ambulant, by peddlers (including chapmen, who sold books) and others (such as farmers and craftsmen) at non-permanent markets such as fairs. It was a special of term used between the 13th and 15th centuries in the Manuscript culture.
  • By extension the term has been applied to decorative backgrounds that may be attached to E-mail correspondence (though this has never found favour) or to describe templates typically used by home users in desktop publishing software to make, for example, party invitations.
  • The word is sometimes confused with the homophone adjective stationary, meaning "not moving", which is also derived from Latin statio. Mnemonics are "stationery has an e for envelope" pen and pencils; and "stationers" sell "stationery".


stationery in Arabic: قرطاسية
stationery in Hungarian: Stationarius
stationery in Malay (macrolanguage): Alat tulis
stationery in Japanese: 文房具
stationery in Polish: Stationarius
stationery in Vietnamese: Văn phòng phẩm
stationery in Chinese: 文具

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

bond paper, carbon paper, cardboard, flimsy, foolscap, leaf, letter paper, note paper, pad, page, paper, papyrus, parchment, quire, ream, rice paper, scratch pad, scroll, sheet, stencil, tracing paper, vellum, writing paper
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