Dissatisfied vs. Unsatisfied

By Sharon

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Don’t mix up dissatisfied with unsatisfied. Dissatisfied applies only to people who are unhappy, frustrated or disappointed with a thing, person or situation.  Examples:

  • I was dissatisfied with the service I received at the restaurant.
  • She was dissatisfied with his response to her question.

Unsatisfied refers to the feeling of needing more and can be used with abstract items. Examples:

  • Despite the hearty meal, his hunger remained unsatisfied.
  • She has had the bill for three weeks, but it still remained unsatisfied.

The adjective is dissatisfaction.

Here are some quotations from publications around the web:

No, that’s not a real statistic. Yet Ilana hasn’t been alone in her sexual frustration. Several shows recently have been depicting women as unsatisfied. Like Ilana, they’re determined to do something about it — and a finding man isn’t necessarily part of the equation. – LA Times

More people than ever are dissatisfied with the products and services they buy, according to a new report from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. And when there is a problem, we’re less happy with the customer service we receive. – USA Today

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3 Responses to “Dissatisfied vs. Unsatisfied”

  • Rob

    ‘She has had the bill for three weeks, but it still remained unsatisfied’ is incomprehensible; how about “……but it remains unpaid? If you want to use the word ‘unsatisfied’ look for a different sentence.

  • Jeff

    Dissatisfied may exclude non-humans. However, I think that Unsatisfied can include humans as well as the abstract.

  • Dave

    On the page for unsatisfied vs dissatisfied, you have…..

    “The adjective is dissatisfaction” .

    That’s obviously not correct. (Noun).

    Hope this helps.

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