The evening has been adequately satisfying.

The evening has been adequately satisfactory.

What does adequately mean here? Does, in the first sentence, it mean- the evening has been satisfying enough? Or the evening has been moderately or fairly satisfying? What's the difference between satisfying and satisfactory? Are they interchangeable? Can we use satisfying or satisfactory to describe people? Like, he's a satisfying person, or satisfactory person? And are the given sentences grammatically correct?

  • satisfactory = meeting minimum requirements & satisfying = giving pleasure.
    – Raj 33
    Jan 6, 2018 at 10:29
  • @Raj33 what about the adequately part? Does adequately here, means moderately? Jan 6, 2018 at 15:05
  • I think Adequately and satisfactory/satisfying are almost similar in meaning. Adequate can mean "enough/sufficient" and "satisfying" can mean "giving pleasure". So it can be interpreted as "giving enough pleasure."
    – Raj 33
    Jan 6, 2018 at 15:19
  • "The shawshank redemption is an adequately satisfying watch." What would you say adequate here, means? And what would the entire sentence's meaning be? @Raj33 Jan 6, 2018 at 15:45
  • I'm not a native English speaker. So I'm expecting some native speaker to give you a detailed answer and the idiomatic expression. All I can say now is, the word "watch" looks so wrong to me. You can use the word "movie" or " movie to watch" instead. "The Shawshank Redemption is an adequately satisfying movie (to watch)".
    – Raj 33
    Jan 6, 2018 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


"Satisfying" and "satisfactory" both can mean "at least meeting expectations or minimum standards of acceptability." For example, "there are several ways of satisfying the prerequisites for this course." When used in the sense of meeting minimum standards, there is often an implication, particularly with the word "satisfactory," that the minimum was not far exceeded.

But "satisfying" can also mean, in fact very frequently does mean, "giving pleasure." When used in that sense, there is no implied qualification on the degree of pleasure given.

As far as I am concerned, "adequately satisfactory" approaches a redundancy, but it may be a valid way to make explicit the qualification that the standard of acceptability was not exceeded by much. Because "satisfying" has usages that do not necessarily imply any such qualification, "adequately satisfying" properly imposes the qualification.

  • So, if I said "The movie I watched earlier was adequately satisfying", would that mean that it was satisfying enough, or moderately satisfying? Jan 6, 2018 at 19:30
  • Sloppy speakers might mean "moderately satisfying," but "adequately satisfying" does not necessarily mean anything more than "just barely more than unsatisfying." Jan 6, 2018 at 19:47
  • So, if someone says "She's adequately satisfied in her relationship with her husband.", it means she's barely satisfied, or barely more than unsatisfied? Jan 6, 2018 at 20:03
  • I have tried to say now that "adequately satisfied" does not necessarily mean more than "barely satisfied." People may use it to mean a higher level of satisfaction, but it will not necessarily understand it that way. It is a somewhat vague locution. Jan 6, 2018 at 23:30

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