[sat-is-fak-tuh-ree, -fak-tree]
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  1. giving or affording satisfaction; fulfilling all demands or requirements: a satisfactory solution.
  2. Theology. atoning or expiating.

Origin of satisfactory

1520–30; < Medieval Latin satisfactōrius, equivalent to Latin satisfac(ere) to do enough + -tōrius -tory1
Related formssat·is·fac·to·ri·ly, adverbsat·is·fac·to·ri·ness, nounpre·sat·is·fac·to·ry, adjective

Synonyms for satisfactory

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for satisfactory


  1. adequate or suitable; acceptablea satisfactory answer
  2. giving satisfaction
  3. constituting or involving atonement, recompense, or expiation for sin
Derived Formssatisfactorily, adverbsatisfactoriness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for satisfactory

mid-15c., "capable of atoning for sin," from Middle French satisfactoire (14c.) and directly from Late Latin satisfactorius, from Latin satisfactus, past participle of satisfacere (see satisfy). Meaning "adequate" is from 1630s. Related: Satisfactorily; satisfactoriness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper