From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search





From Middle English satisfyen, satisfien, from Old French satisfiier, satisfier (also Old French satisfaire), from Latin satisfacere, present active infinitive of satisfaciō, from satis (enough, sufficient) + faciō (I make, I do).


  • IPA(key): /ˈsætɪsfaɪ/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Hyphenation: sat‧is‧fy



satisfy (third-person singular simple present satisfies, present participle satisfying, simple past and past participle satisfied)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To do enough for; to meet the needs of; to fulfill the wishes or requirements of.
    I’m not satisfied with the quality of the food here.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book IX”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker []; [a]nd by Robert Boulter []; [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      Death shall [] with us two / Be forced to satisfy his ravenous maw.
  2. (transitive) To cause (a sentence) to be true when the sentence is interpreted in one's universe.
    The complex numbers satisfy .
  3. (dated, literary, transitive) To convince by ascertaining; to free from doubt.
    • 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter 19, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, →OCLC:
      I was resolved to satisfy myself whether this ragged Elijah was really dogging us or not, and with that intent crossed the way with Queequeg, and on that side of it retraced our steps.
    • 1856, “Treaty signed April 18, 1855; ratified April 5, 1856”, in Treaty of friendship and commerce between Great Britain and Siam, Bangkok: J. H. Chandler, page 9:
      The Siamese officer and the Consul having satisfied themselves of the honest intentions of the applicant, will assist him...
  4. (transitive) To pay to the extent of what is claimed or due.
    to satisfy a creditor
  5. (transitive) To answer or discharge (a claim, debt, legal demand, etc.); to give compensation for.
    to satisfy a claim or an execution





Further reading