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[kuh n-tent] /kənˈtɛnt/
satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.
British. agreeing; assenting.
Archaic. willing.
verb (used with object)
to make content:
These things content me.
the state or feeling of being contented; satisfaction; contentment:
His content was threatened.
(in the British House of Lords) an affirmative vote or voter.
Origin of content2
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Middle French < Latin contentus satisfied, special use of past participle of continēre; see content1
Related forms
contentable, adjective
contently, adverb
contentness, noun
4. appease, gratify. See satisfy.
4. dissatisfy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for contenting
Historical Examples
  • He hesitated as between chiding and contenting her—then he handsomely chose.

    The Outcry Henry James
  • contenting himself with this preface, Roderick began to read.

  • He never struck once, contenting himself with covering up, blocking and ducking and clinching to avoid punishment.

  • However, he gave no sign, contenting himself with a cordial reply.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • She did not even inquire about him, contenting herself with the simple assurance that he was doing his best to find Dorothy.

    An Oregon Girl Alfred Ernest Rice
  • The pattern-makers, also, were contenting themselves with easier designs.

    The Spell of Belgium Isabel Anderson
  • "Ay--ay, sir--" answered the man, touching his hat, and contenting himself with this brief and customary reply.

    Miles Wallingford James Fenimore Cooper
  • He swore by Blank, as we do in books, contenting himself with the 'By——!' '

    At His Gates, Vol. 2(of 3) Margaret Oliphant
  • For once he declined their proffered hospitality, contenting himself with a horn of cider.

    The Making of William Edwards Mrs. G. Linnaeus Banks
  • It is a delightful little of a most happy and contenting whole.

    The Happy Golfer Henry Leach
British Dictionary definitions for contenting


(often pl) everything that is inside a container: the contents of a box
(usually pl)
  1. the chapters or divisions of a book
  2. a list, printed at the front of a book, of chapters or divisions together with the number of the first page of each
the meaning or significance of a poem, painting, or other work of art, as distinguished from its style or form
all that is contained or dealt with in a discussion, piece of writing, etc; substance
the capacity or size of a thing
the proportion of a substance contained in an alloy, mixture, etc: the lead content of petrol
Word Origin
C15: from Latin contentus contained, from continēre to contain


adjective (postpositive)
mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are
assenting to or willing to accept circumstances, a proposed course of action, etc
(transitive) to make (oneself or another person) content or satisfied: to content oneself with property
peace of mind; mental or emotional satisfaction
(Brit) (in the House of Lords) a formal expression of assent, as opposed to the expression not content
Derived Forms
contently, adverb
contentment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin contentus contented, that is, having restrained desires, from continēre to restrain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for contenting



early 15c., from Middle French contenter, from content (adj.) "satisfied," from Latin contentus "contained, satisfied," past participle of continere (see contain). Sense evolved through "contained," "restrained," to "satisfied," as the contented person's desires are bound by what he or she already has. Related: Contented; contentedly.


c.1400, from Old French content, "satisfied," from Latin contentus "contained, satisfied," past participle of continere (see contain). Related: Contently (largely superseded by contentedly).


"that which is contained," early 15c., from Latin contentum, contenta, noun use of past participle of continere (see contain). Meaning "satisfaction" is from 1570s; heart's content is from 1590s (Shakespeare).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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contenting in Medicine

content con·tent (kŏn'těnt')

  1. Something contained, as in a receptacle.

  2. The proportion of a specified substance present in something else, as of protein in a food.

  3. The subject matter or essential meaning of something, especially a dream.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with contenting
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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