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Oxford English Dictionary


[a. F. satisfaction (12th c. satisfactiun, 13th c. satisfacion, -fecion) = Pr. satisfactio, Sp. satisfaccion, Pg. satisfacção, It. satisfazione, soddisfazione, ad. L. satisfaction-em, n. of action f. satisfacere to satisfy.]

And from the definition for "satisfy": "L....orig. two words satis = enough; facere= to do."

The action of satisfying; the state or fact of being satisfied.

I. With reference to obligations.

1. a. The payment in full of a debt, or the fulfilment of an obligation or claim; the atoning for (rarely of) an injury, offence, or fault by reparation, compensation, or the endurance of punishment. Also quasi-concr., the pecuniary or other gift or penalty, or the act, by which a debt or obligation is discharged or an offence atoned for. Phrases, to make (or do) satisfaction; in satisfaction (of). Now chiefly in Law.

2. Eccl. (The earliest recorded use in Eng.) The performance by a penitent of the penal and meritorious acts enjoined by his confessor as payment of the temporal punishment due to his sin: the last of the constituent parts of the sacrament of penance.

3. Theol. The atonement made by Christ for sin, according to the view that His sufferings and merits are accepted by the Divine justice as an equivalent for the penalty due for the sins of the world. So doctrine of satisfaction. Occas. said of Christ himself as the victim by whose sacrifice the satisfaction was made.

4. a. The opportunity of satisfying one's honour by a duel; the acceptance of a challenge to a duel from the person who deems himself insulted or injured. Chiefly in phrases, to give, demand satisfaction. give oneself satisfaction: to be avenged on an offender. Obs.

II. With reference to desires or feelings.

5. a. The action of gratifying (an appetite or desire) to the full, or of contenting (a person) by the complete fulfilment of a desire or supply of a want; the fact of having been gratified to the full or of having one's desire fulfilled. Phrases, to the satisfaction of; to give satisfaction

b. Satisfied or contented state of mind; now usually, gratification or pleasure occasioned by some fact, event, or state of things. Const. at, with, of; also followed by that with clause expressing the cause.

c. A particular instance of satisfaction; an experience, fact, or circumstance that occasions gratification.

e. Psychol. The satisfying of a need or desire as it affects or motivates behaviour.

6. a.Release from suspense, uncertainty, or uneasiness (J.); information that answers a person's demands or needs; removal of doubt, conviction.

b. Satisfying proof. Obs.

c. Solution (of a difficulty). Obs.

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