What’s the difference between “dissatisfied” and “unsatisfied”?

Is there a clear-cut difference between dissatisfied and unsatisfied?

Answer

The feeling connected with a lack of satisfaction can have two different components:

  • A sense of incompleteness, which leaves one feeling unsatisfied

  • A sense of wrongness, which leaves one feeling dissatisfied

Naturally, both senses may overlap in certain situations. Take the following example:

John’s father was unsatisfied by the principal’s explanation of his son’s injuries.

[He suspected that some important details were missing from the principal’s explanation.]

John’s father was dissatisfied with the principal’s explanation of his son’s injuries.

[He suspected that he was being lied to.]

If I was John’s father in this situation, I would most likely choose to describe my feeling as dissatisfaction, which would better reflect my state of active displeasure, and would also encompass both the incompleteness and the wrongness I had perceived in the principal’s explanation.

Had I merely felt that some information was missing, the result would have been a lack of satisfaction.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Joji Shaikh , Answer Author : Erik Kowal

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