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


  • IPA(key): /ˈsætɪsfaɪ/
  • (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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      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.
    • Atterbury
      The standing evidences of the truth of the gospel are in themselves most firm, solid, and satisfying.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 19
      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.
  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


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