To satisfy someone is to meet that person’s expectations. A company, a product, or another person tries to make you feel happy; however, in some cases, to be satisfied is to feel something less than happiness. Instead, it’s a feeling of contentment. Everything is okay or just okay.

  • These sandwiches should satisfy our guests for now, but we’ll have to bring out more food soon.
  • The apology didn’t satisfy the angry customer, so she walked out of the store vowing never to return.
  • Their products weren’t satisfying our needs, so we went with a different manufacturer.
  • Do you think this work will satisfy our boss?
  • Both sides are satisfied with the agreement.
  • This solution satisfies everyone concerned.

The words "satisfied," "satisfying," and "satisfactory" are adjectives:

  • That wasn’t a satisfactory solution.
  • Everyone said the experience was satisfying.
  • The satisfied customers left the restaurant and walked slowly to their cars.
  • Do you feel satisfied?
  • They don’t feel satisfied. They want their money back.
  • Are you satisfied? (Sometimes a question like this is asked of a person who makes a big mistake. The question is tinged with a bit of sarcasm or anger)

The word "satisfaction" is a noun:

  • Your total satisfaction with our products is important to us.
  • The hotel guaranteed the guests’ satisfaction.
  • The man couldn’t get any sort of satisfaction from the criminal justice system, so he took matters into his own hands and decided to buy a gun.

Cultural note: "I Can’t Get No Satisfaction" is a very popular rock’n’roll song by the Rolling Stones. It was released in the 1960s, but it remains very popular to this day. Notice the use of the double negative: can’t get no. To be grammatically correct, the title of the song should be "I Can’t Get Any Satisfaction," but good grammar doesn’t matter much when art and music are concerned.

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This page was first published on August 10, 2013. It was updated on August 30, 2016.