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“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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