verb sat·is·fy \ ˈsa-təs-ˌfī \
Updated on: 15 Mar 2018

Definition of satisfy

satisfied; satisfying
transitive verb
1 a : to carry out the terms of (something, such as a contract) : discharge
b : to meet a financial obligation to
2 : to make reparation to (an injured party) : indemnify
3 a : to make happy : please
b : to gratify to the full : appease
4 a : convince
b : to put an end to (doubt or uncertainty) : dispel
5 a : to conform to (specifications) : be adequate to (an end in view)
b : to make true by fulfilling a condition
  • values that satisfy an equation
  • satisfy a hypothesis
intransitive verb
: to be adequate : suffice; also : please


play \ˈsa-təs-ˌfī-iŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of satisfy in a Sentence

  1. Nothing satisfies her so much as doing a good job.

  2. The movie's ending failed to satisfy audiences.

  3. His curiosity was satisfied by their explanation.

  4. They have satisfied themselves that the story is only a rumor.

Recent Examples of satisfy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'satisfy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of satisfy

Middle English satisfien, from Anglo-French satisfier, modification of Latin satisfacere, from satis enough + facere to do, make — more at sad, do

Synonym Discussion of satisfy

pay, compensate, remunerate, satisfy, reimburse, indemnify, repay, recompense mean to give money or its equivalent in return for something. pay implies the discharge of an obligation incurred.
    • paid their bills
compensate implies a making up for services rendered.
    • an attorney well compensated for her services
remunerate clearly suggests paying for services rendered and may extend to payment that is generous or not contracted for.
    • promised to remunerate the searchers handsomely
satisfy implies paying a person what is required by law.
    • all creditors will be satisfied in full
reimburse implies a return of money that has been spent for another's benefit.
    • reimbursed employees for expenses
indemnify implies making good a loss suffered through accident, disaster, warfare.
    • indemnified the families of the dead miners
repay stresses paying back an equivalent in kind or amount.
    • repay a favor with a favor
recompense suggests due return in amends, friendly repayment, or reward.
    • passengers were recompensed for the delay

SATISFY Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of satisfy for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (someone) to be happy or pleased

  • : to provide, do, or have what is required by (someone or something)

  • : to cause (someone) to believe that something is true

SATISFY Defined for Kids


verb sat·is·fy \ ˈsa-təs-ˌfī \

Definition of satisfy for Students

satisfied; satisfying
1 : to make happy or contented
  • Everyone was satisfied with the compromise.
2 : to meet the needs of
  • The meal satisfied our hunger.
3 : convince
  • We are satisfied the story is true.
4 : to do what has been agreed upon
  • The contract has been satisfied.

Law Dictionary


transitive verb sat·is·fy

legal Definition of satisfy

satisfied; satisfying
1 a : to carry out the terms or obligation of (as by payment of money)
  • refused to satisfy the judgment against her
  • satisfy a condition precedent
; broadly : to cause to be discharged, settled, or paid
  • sought to satisfy his claim against the debtor
b : to meet an obligation to
  • satisfy a creditor
2 : to convince by argument or evidence
3 : to conform to
  • satisfy requirements

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