satisfying and satisfactory


Senior Member

can 'satisfactory/unsatisfactory' be replaced by 'satisfying/unsatisfying' in the following sentences:
The service was more than satisfactory.
The solution was unsatisfactory.
The response was unsatisfactory.

Thanks for your replies.
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    No; "satisfying" and "unsatisfying" can generally not be used interchangeably.

    If you look each word up in the WR dictionary and click on the "In context" link at the upper right, you can see examples of how they're used.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "Satisfactory" and "satisfying" can often be used in the same sentence, but their meanings are different. The choice between them depends on what you want to say.

    For example, "the service was more than satisfactory" could be said about automobile repair. "The service was more than satisfying" might be said about a prostitute.


    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    And even without the often-unavoidable sexual implications of "satisfying," the meaning is different:

    "Their evening meal was quite satisfying." = The meal was filling and good.

    "Their evening meal was quite satisfactory." = There was nothing at all wrong with the meal. It was perfectly adequate.
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