Featured, Language

“Sate” versus “Satiate”

Use of the word “satiated” tends to annoy me. I figured one is “sated”. I just spent some time looking at dictionaries, thesauri, and my etymological dictionary to figure it out once and for all. Google and Google Trends imply that “sate” is the more widely-used term, though this appears to be in large part because journalists keep mis-spelling “state”.

The word “satiated” looks to derive from Latin “satis” which means enough. (Satisfied?)

“Sate” derives from older English, Dutch, and Germanic, and apparently shares the same root word with “sad”.

The Brooding Northern European part of me wonders if my ancestors had some keen understanding of the connection between satisfaction and sadness.

Merriam-Webster boils down several synonyms in terms of “repletion”:

SATIATE and SATE may sometimes imply only complete satisfaction but more often suggest repletion that has destroyed interest or desire. SURFEIT implies a nauseating repletion. CLOY stresses the disgust or boredom resulting from such surfeiting.

At any rate, I see that there’s nothing wrong with being “satiated” yet it is perfectly fine for me to stick with sate and sated. (Though I do enjoy the word “satiety”.)

I am satisfied with this state of repletion. I am sated.

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Categories: Featured, Language

  • Consider my curiosity sated. Thank you for this.

  • Anonymous

    Your forgettable rant about sate vs. satiety tends to annoy me.

  • Woody87

    geoff – that his rant would tend to annoy would imply you kept reading it over and over again. A trend, after all, needs more than one data point.

  • Woody87, I suspect that geoff765 is in fact some sort of automated spam-bot intended to post a variety of “human” responses to blogs like mine, in order to give the spam filters an impression that it is in fact a human, and thus less likely to have its content filtered in a future spam campaign.


  • Deepbluesea

    given a similar word – satisfy/satisfied – also starts with sati, I’d go with satiated.

  • Nowri

    I, too have, wondered. I may continue to ponder. I plan to continue to use satiate over sate as I enjoy the lazy way it rolls off the tongue. Thanks for the laugh. Plan to read more of your musings now. Cheers, Nerida. P.S. can you tell if I’m human or ‘bot’? Hope so.

  • Nerida, most bots don’t speak much of their tongue sense, but who ever knows these days? -d

  • Kristin Maillard

    Awesome :-)

  • geoff765

    You’re right. And even in the computer world I’m considered a tool.

  • PaulT

    That is fantastic response! Nice one Geoff!

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  • Pippatassie

    Seven years later, Pippatassie responds.
    Satiated…what a delightful word. Initiated, and satiated. The beginning and the end.
    My need to know is sated: I’ve lost interest/ it’s a destroyed interest/fizzled desire”).
    My passion is satiated: My need to know has been satisfied – completely – or satisfactorily so.