1. a place or position in which a person or thing is normally located.
  2. a stopping place for trains or other land conveyances, for the transfer of freight or passengers.
  3. the building or buildings at such a stopping place.
  4. the district or municipal headquarters of certain public services: police station; fire station; postal station.
  5. a place equipped for some particular kind of work, service, research, or the like: gasoline station; geophysical station.
  6. the position, as of persons or things, in a scale of estimation, rank, or dignity; standing: the responsibility of persons of high station.
  7. a position, office, rank, calling, or the like.
  8. Radio and Television.
    1. a studio or building from which broadcasts originate.
    2. a person or organization originating and broadcasting messages or programs.
    3. a specific frequency or band of frequencies assigned to a regular or special broadcaster: Tune to the Civil Defense station.
    4. the complete equipment used in transmitting and receiving broadcasts.
  9. Military.
    1. a military place of duty.
    2. a semipermanent army post.
  10. Navy. a place or region to which a ship or fleet is assigned for duty.
  11. (formerly in India) the area in which the British officials of a district or the officers of a garrison resided.
  12. Biology. a particular area or type of region where a given animal or plant is found.
  13. Australian. a ranch with its buildings, land, etc., especially for raising sheep.
  14. Surveying.
    1. Also called instrument station, set-up.a point where an observation is taken.
    2. a precisely located reference point.
    3. a length of 100 feet (30 meters) along a survey line.
  15. a section or area assigned to a waiter, soldier, etc.; post: The waiter says this isn’t his station.
  16. stations of the cross.
  17. Archaic. the fact or condition of standing still.

verb (used with object)

  1. to assign a station to; place or post in a station or position.


  1. the place or position at which a thing or person stands or is supposed to stand
    1. a place along a route or line at which a bus, train, etc, stops for fuel or to pick up or let off passengers or goods, esp one with ancillary buildings and servicesrailway station
    2. (as modifier)a station buffet
    1. the headquarters or local offices of an official organization such as the police or fire services
    2. (as modifier)a station sergeant See police station, fire station
  2. a building, depot, etc, with special equipment for some particular purposepower station; petrol station; television station
  3. military a place of dutyan action station
  4. navy
    1. a location to which a ship or fleet is assigned for duty
    2. an assigned location for a member of a ship’s crew
  5. a radio or television channel
  6. a position or standing, as in a particular society or organization
  7. the type of one’s occupation; calling
  8. (in British India) a place where the British district officials or garrison officers resided
  9. biology the type of habitat occupied by a particular animal or plant
  10. Australian and NZ a large sheep or cattle farm
  11. surveying a point at which a reading is made or which is used as a point of reference
  12. (often capital) RC Church
    1. one of the Stations of the Cross
    2. any of the churches (station churches) in Rome that have been used from ancient times as points of assembly for religious processions and ceremonies on particular days (station days)
  13. (plural) (in rural Ireland) mass, preceded by confessions, held annually in a parishioner’s dwelling and attended by other parishioners


  1. (tr) to place in or assign to a station

late 13c., “place which one normally occupies,” from Old French station, from Latin stationem (nominative statio) “a standing, post, job, position,” related to stare “to stand,” from PIE root *sta- “to stand” (see stet).

The meaning “place for a special purpose” (e.g. polling station) is first recorded 1823; radio station is from 1912. The meaning “regular stopping place” is first recorded 1797, in reference to coach routes; applied to railroads 1830. Meaning “each of a number of holy places visited in succession by pilgrims” is from late 14c., hence Station of the Cross (1550s).

Station wagon in the automobile sense is first recorded 1929, from earlier use for a horse-drawn conveyance that took passengers to and from railroad stations (1894). Station house “police station” is attested from 1836.


“to assign a post or position to,” 1748, from station (n.). Related: Stationed; stationing.

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