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[sat-is-fahy] /ˈsæt ɪsˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), satisfied, satisfying.
to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs, or demands of (a person, the mind, etc.); give full contentment to:
The hearty meal satisfied him.
to put an end to (a desire, want, need, etc.) by sufficient or ample provision:
The hearty meal satisfied his hunger.
to give assurance to; convince:
to satisfy oneself by investigation.
to answer sufficiently, as an objection.
to solve or dispel, as a doubt.
to discharge fully (a debt, obligation, etc.).
to make reparation to or for:
to satisfy an offended person; to satisfy a wrong.
to pay (a creditor).
  1. to fulfill the requirements or conditions of:
    to satisfy a theorem.
  2. (of a value of an unknown) to change (an equation) into an identity when substituted for the unknown: x = 2 satisfies 3 x = 6.
verb (used without object), satisfied, satisfying.
to give satisfaction.
Origin of satisfy
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English satisfien < Middle French satisfier < Vulgar Latin *satisficāre (for Latin satisfacere to do enough; see satisfaction); see -fy
Related forms
satisfiable, adjective
satisfier, noun
satisfyingly, adverb
satisfyingness, noun
nonsatisfying, adjective
outsatisfy, verb (used with object), outsatisfied, outsatisfying.
presatisfy, verb (used with object), presatisfied, presatisfying.
supersatisfy, verb (used with object), supersatisfied, supersatisfying.
unsatisfiable, adjective
1. gratify, appease, pacify, please. Satisfy, content refer to meeting one's desires or wishes. To satisfy is to meet to the full one's wants, expectations, etc.: to satisfy a desire to travel. To content is to give enough to keep one from being disposed to find fault or complain: to content oneself with a moderate meal. 3. persuade. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for satisfying
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And there was an infinite curiosity, which I hardly even dared dream of satisfying; a curiosity which was like a fever.

    Spiritual Adventures Arthur Symons
  • Would you take that as a satisfying reason from one or your students?

  • And surely of all smells in the world the smell of many trees is sweetest and most satisfying.'

    Robert Louis Stevenson Margaret Moyes Black
  • "You're just about as satisfying to talk to as a stump," she paid tribute to his unassailable calm.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • The evening when the light piece is blacker and the darkness has not come to engage anything is the satisfying shining.

British Dictionary definitions for satisfying


verb (mainly transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
(also intransitive) to fulfil the desires or needs of (a person)
to provide amply for (a need or desire)
to relieve of doubt; convince
to dispel (a doubt)
to make reparation to or for
to discharge or pay off (a debt) to (a creditor)
to fulfil the requirements of; comply with: you must satisfy the terms of your lease
(maths, logic) to fulfil the conditions of (a theorem, assumption, etc); to yield a truth by substitution of the given value: x = 3 satisfies x² – 4x + 3 = 0
Derived Forms
satisfiable, adjective
satisfier, noun
satisfying, adjective
satisfyingly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Old French satisfier, from Latin satisfacere, from satis enough + facere to make, do
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for satisfying

c.1600, present participle adjective from satisfy. Related: Satisfyingly.



early 15c., from Middle French satisfier, from Old French satisfaire "pay, repay, make reparation" (14c., Modern French satisfaire), from Latin satisfacere "discharge fully, comply with, make amends," literally "do enough," from satis "enough" (from PIE root *sa- "to satisfy;" see sad) + facere "perform" (see factitious). Related: Satisfied; satisfying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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