Is there an expression, preferably a single word, that describes the state of not being happy with something but having to be satisfied with it?


I wanted to split the video into small segments. Programming this would take a lot of time, as there’s no managed interface for C# to the multi media SDK. So, instead of doing it programmatically and wasting time, I’ll have to be satisfied with using the Nero application.

  • 1
    Presumably OP sees nothing odd in using the word satisfied in his definition, which just goes to show how central circumlocution and vagueness are to the context. Aug 21, 2011 at 12:50
  • English is my not my mother tongue, so I appologize if my question was not precise. I'll edit and give an example, and I'd really like - as an added bonus ;-) - to understand what's wrong with using "satisfied with" in this context...
    – Avi
    Aug 21, 2011 at 13:11
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    @Avi: Jasper is quite right. Native speakers also use "have to be satisfied" to mean "have no choice but to tolerate". My point was that we all use language like that, even though strictly speaking it doesn't make much sense to use the word "satisfied" in a context where we know we're "not happy" (i.e. - we're not satisfied). Aug 21, 2011 at 16:44
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    "I’ll have to be [content]" - in quotes, has about a half a million hits. The problem is that no dictionary defines that colloquial use: of having to settle and say, meh, or it's a freaking fugazi forgetaboutit.
    – Mazura
    May 9, 2020 at 21:28

19 Answers 19


Given the context, I would suggest "make do with" as in "I'll have to make do with using Nero." This suggests the solution to your problem is suboptimal but workable. I would argue that to "resign oneself" to something is a bit too strong for this case. One might resign oneself to a life of thankless toil, or to never achieving one's Olympic dreams, whereas one might make do with a pair of flip flops that are too large. A suboptimal software solution seems closer to the second case.

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    Given the context, I think this is what I'll use. Of course, as mentioned, I'm not a native English-ian :), but this feels right. Lesson learnt and will always provide context :). Thanks all for helping!
    – Avi
    Aug 21, 2011 at 16:57

In English, you can resign yourself to something. This site explains:

Meaning: If you resign yourself to something, you accept that it's true and that there's nothing you can do to change it.

For example:

Margaret has resigned herself to the fact that her company won't survive, and she's started looking for a job.

I admitted that my dream of being a famous movie star would never come true, and I resigned myself to a life in the suburbs with everyone else.

So if you resign yourself to something, then you aren't happy with it but you accept it as is. The associated state of being is resigned.


Acquiesce would be the word you are looking for.

To acquiesce is to accept something reluctantly but without protest.

For example:

Avi didn't want to go see that movie, but acquiesced to Betty, who really wanted to see the film.

  • Wait, is that a word?!?
    – orlp
    Aug 21, 2011 at 19:15
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    Yes, acquiesce and acquiesced are both real words.
    – RGW1976
    Aug 21, 2011 at 19:25
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    It sounds a bit out of place in the example sentence though, which seems to be pretty colloquial. This seems more appropriate for a more formal context maybe?
    – UncleZeiv
    Aug 22, 2011 at 13:12
  • I don't think it sounds out of place at all. It may not be a commonly used word, but it certainly fits. Keep in mind it was merely an example.
    – RGW1976
    Aug 22, 2011 at 13:35
  • I was answering OP's question: "Is there a single word that describes the state of not being happy with something but having to be satisfied with it?" I did not take the example given into consideration.
    – RGW1976
    Aug 24, 2011 at 21:35

Also to settle for something.

  • I'll settle for desire .. (From a song I don't remember the name of right now :-)
    – Wivani
    Aug 22, 2011 at 15:03

I'd also suggest suffice:

To be enough or sufficient; to meet the need (of anything); to be equal to the end proposed; to be adequate.

In the sentence:

...the Nero application will have to suffice.

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    Since "suffice" is neutral (and can be positive), it's really the "will have to" that makes it clear that you're not satisfied.
    – mskfisher
    Aug 22, 2011 at 12:24

Acceptance is the willingness to live with an unpleasant situation.

  • No downvote here but wouldn't you agree that you can "happily accept" something?
    – RGW1976
    Aug 21, 2011 at 12:08
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    Modified with reluctant, I find that I can reluctantly accept this answer. Aug 21, 2011 at 16:53
  • @Jasper Context will hopefully indicate whether acceptance is positive or negative, agreed. The addition of reluctantly will always correctly communicate the message in the OP. Aug 22, 2011 at 11:21

Tolerate is another option.


You can also "cope" or "put up" with Nero.


It's a bit informal perhaps, but I tend to use "swallow." If I don't like it, but have to accept it, I swallow it, or, even more informally, choke it down.


I am unfamiliar with this figure of speech. "Nero" clearly, from your explanation, represents the concept of non-optimal choice when a choice must be made. Sounds like politics. Thus, depending on the context what you are referring to is a compromise


The expression grin and bear it according to the online dictionary freeonlinedictionary.com means:

grin and bear it

to put up with something unpleasant without complaining He doesn't like his present job but he'll just have to grin and bear it till he finds another.


You could say that you will "grudgingly use Nero".


There is an informal expression "you'll have to lump it" which means more or less what you want. There is a further (stylistically neutral) expression "to put up with something" which is the same, e,g "you'll use have to put up with it".


'To bite the bullet' is also a useful phrase in informal situations - here's the definition from Wikipedia:

To "bite the bullet" is to endure a painful or otherwise unpleasant situation that is seen as unavoidable.

So, instead of wasting my time trying to program the interface, I’ll bite the bullet and use Nero.


I'm resigned to doing it this way.


I'll resign myself do doing it this way.


Maybe, "be patient" with something?


You might consider the word "inured". Generally one speaks of becoming inured to a persistent annoyance that one is unable to stop. "I have become inured to my neighbours' loud parties."

Basically, "have learned to endure". It's less suitable for a shorter-term issue, like an undesirable expediency.


The word "suffer" indicates something painful or tedious. The word muddle indicates bumbling or confusion. Depending upon what exact meaning you wish, one or the other may suffice.

So, instead of doing it programmatically and wasting time, I’ll have to suffer using the Nero application.


So, instead of doing it programmatically and wasting time, I’ll have to be muddle through using the Nero application.


Satisfy + Suffice = Satisfice. I remember it from SmashingMagazine's book #1 which talked about it in a chapter about UI and decision making. Not a real dictionary word, but it is widely used.

In decision making, satisficing explains the tendency to select the first option that meets a given need or select the option that seems to address most needs rather than the “optimal” solution. (Wikipedia)

While technically it talks about the process of finding the most optimal solution being too costly as the reason for choosing a less-optimal solution, I think it can still be used in your context.

  • "Not a real dictionary word, but it is widely used" - I've never heard this used in my life (London).
    – Tom
    Aug 24, 2011 at 9:16
  • Well, "widely" is an overstatement, but it is a known used word
    – shesek
    Aug 24, 2011 at 20:16

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