The intransitive usage of “satisfy”

I lighted upon a sentence in the New York Times:

Actually almost any tidbit — notably pigs in blankets — that the bar sends my way will satisfy.

This usage of satisfy strikes me as uncommon, if not jarring, as the verb satisfy almost always occurs as a transitive verb. I have just checked all the major online dictionaries. The Oxford Dictionaries Online explicitly says it should be used “with object”, while some others have “intransitive verb” listed but no example sentences. I can’t seem to find one instance in contemporary texts that uses satisfy intransitively.

So is this usage archaic? Or has it never been a common/widely accepted usage? What is the currency of this usage?


Popularly, this use of “satisfy” is seen in the Snickers slogan: Packed with peanuts, Snickers really satisfies
At least since 1986.

I always heard the advertising slogan simply as “Snickers really satisfies.”

10. to give satisfaction
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary

1. To be sufficient or adequate.
2. To give satisfaction.
American Heritage Dictionary

verb (used without object), satisfied, satisfying.
to give satisfaction

intransitive verb : to be adequate : suffice; also : please
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

And lastly from the OED with quotes starting 1600. My thanks to Mitch for adding these to my answer:

5.absol. and intr.
To cause or give satisfaction or contentment.

1600 Chester Pl. Proëm 44
If the same be likeinge to the comons all, then our desier is to satisfie—for that is all our game.

1649 J. Winthrop Hist. New Eng. (1825) (modernized text) I. 210
This would not satisfy, but they called him to answer publickly.

1831 Westm. Rev. Jan. 243
What would have satisfied from the Duke will not satisfy from Lord Grey.

1836 R. W. Emerson Nature iii, in Wks. (1906) II. 145
But in other hours, Nature satisfies by its loveliness, and without any mixture of corporeal benefit.

1903 Heart of Heretic vi. 33
The first and last need of an aspect of religious truth is that it shall satisfy.

Source : Link , Question Author : Eddie Kal , Answer Author : Zebrafish

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