Certain expressions rely on pairs of words. We have some word-pairs as such:

Quench Thirst
Sate Hunger
Satisfy Desire
Satisfy Demand

It seems strange to me that satisfy would be used for both desire and demand, though the two words are mostly synonymous. At the same time, satisfy is a rather general term — we can satisfy many things, but we can quench only thirst. So is there a more specific word than satisfy for either of these, a word that creates a word-pair that 'fits better'?

  • 2
    How about Attain Desire and Meet Demand? Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 10:39
  • 1
    Well, one could quench a fire, but since that is often done with water, perhaps one is simply quenching a fire's thirst.
    – IQAndreas
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 10:40
  • That's awkward usage --- you extinguish a fire. (Though I appreciate the humour of your comment.)
    – Newb
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 10:42
  • @Newb i.imgur.com/ki2e3Zd.jpg
    – IQAndreas
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 10:58
  • How about Fulfill a Desire (like one's other fantasies), Meet a Demand (like @VijayaRagavan)? I think one attains the object of one's Desires, but not the Platonic Desires themselves.
    – AmitaiB
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 2:04

4 Answers 4


You need to realize that 'Thirst' and 'Hunger' are also specific needs, while 'Desire' and 'Demand' are very generic. They could range from a spiritual quest to meet God to a baser need like a new dress.

Hence, 'satisfy' by its very definition, is the proverbial one size that fits all!


Two words that are often paired are fullfill demands (of course, you could just as easily say fulfill desire).

  • Yes, I thought about this as well.
    – Newb
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 10:42

satisfy demand

Google Scholar > 16,100 Yahoo Search > 65,900

meet demand

Google Scholar > 51,000 Yahoo Search > 1,200,000

a Google Ngram showing occurrence of both terms in Google Books' database.


Thanks to aeismail and Vilmar

In conclusion

Looking at the nature of the results given by the queries done at Google and Yahoo, I assume that "meeting demand" is an expression ideally used in the economical contexts, while "satisfying a demand" belongs to the sphere of forensic jargon.


If we keep in mind that all of these words have overlapping secondary and tertiary definitions/meanings, then all of these suggestions make sense.

Put differently, each single word can never fully narrow down your intended meaning in the reader's mind. It is the Verb-Noun Pair that conveys your intention.


  • "Desires Satisfied" legitimately implies a shortcoming-made-good, of regaining equilibrium up until Satisfaction (in food, honor, what have you).
  • "Desires Fulfilled" equally legitimately implies a plenitude overfilled to surfeit, a luxury not strictly necessary or essential.

I think @Flonorec uses the right word with "expression". The extra words do work in disambiguation, methinks.

OK, time to stop procrastinating my real job... :)

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