Please have a look at the below Google Ngram image,

I like to use Contentment in my sentences, but the image shows that the word Contentment has the least usage now a days.

So please help, is the word Contentment still in usage or I have to use the common word satisfaction always?

Advance thanks for your help.

Sorry for my bad English. English is not my native language. enter image description here

  • 1
    Google Ngram only analyzes the occurrence of a word in literary materials, like books and articles, within a time frame selected by the user. That doesn't mean that the frequency of usage of 'contentment' has been reduced. There are instances where 'content' is the apt word to use, irrespective of potential alternatives. In those cases, substituting it with another word may not be the best thing to do.
    – Varun Nair
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 4:36
  • "I like to use Contentment in my sentences". What sentences? You should add some examples which would help in discussing what words are appropriate. ngrams don't help because they cannot understand context using a single word.
    – user3169
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 6:10
  • @user3169, I usually comment and post about my feelings of serving humanity. Example: There is nothing but satisfaction we get from making others happy. I don't know but the word Satisfaction seems to me a very common word and has less value than the word Contentment. May be I am wrong. Please clarify. Sorry for my bad English if there is any mistake above.
    – Raj33
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 6:38
  • Well, definitely Satisfaction is a more common word in general but let's not forget that there are situations where it's wiser to you another word like Contentment for instance or Delight, or Pleasure. Take this sentence, "It is a pleasure to meet you" - no other word will fit. Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 6:38

3 Answers 3


So it seems to me that the only questions you truly asked were whether contentment is still used and whether you can use it. The answer to both questions is a resounding "yes."

It may have slightly different connotations, as Canadian Yankee suggested. It may not be used as often—as both ngrams suggest. But it is a perfectly normal and acceptable word that is most definitely still in usage!

To steal an example from your question in the comments, these are both normal and have similar meanings:

I get satisfaction from helping others.
I find contentment in helping others.

I would say that contentment and satisfaction are not exact synonyms. Contentment is more specific than satisfaction and it evokes a mood of calm, stillness, or peace. Wikipedia defines contentment as "...a mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one's situation, body and mind." This is why satisfaction is more common - it has a much broader meaning than contentment does.

I achieve satisfaction from a job well done, but find contentment in a quiet Sunday afternoon at home with no chores to do.


By reducing the time frame shown on the Ngram to "our lifetimes" we can get a better comparison of word frequency.

As the comment stated, this is indeed based "only" on data from books and magazines. However, we can see that the difference is significant: satisfaction is consistently used over 10 times as often as contentment.

Literature and spoken words aren't out-of-sync by tenfold, so I will say with 100% confidence that SATISFACTION is used more often, in all manners of English communication, including between the major regions. (My own experience also agrees with that fact.)

Can't argue with data.


A modified Ngram, Perhaps a better example, with all your sample words. Those lines are pretty darn straight (ie., no fluctation) and that's a pretty huge gap between the 2 words in question.

If we were comparing the words content versus happy, the results would be very different. Content is used 10000x more often than Happy... but content has multiple meanings, one used much more often during our tech age ("web site content", etc).

  • I agree Satisfaction is more common than Contentment. But I want to know which word would be more formal in writing?
    – Raj33
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 6:47

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