The Meaning of Insatiable: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of insatiable? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word insatiable, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word insatiable mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and Dictionary, the word insatiable is an adjective (pronounced ɪnˈseɪʃəbəl) that describes someone or something that is incapable of being satisfied. This can either be used literally or figuratively. Literally, one might have an insatiable hunger or insatiable thirst after being lost at sea. Seemingly, nothing will satisfy this person’s stomach. Figuratively, someone might have an insatiable desire for wealth or an insatiable want for knowledge. Try using this word of the day or other new words in a sentence today!

Many other languages besides English contain words that mean insatiable. You may notice that many of these words look and sound similar to the word insatiable. These are called cognates, which are words that look, sound, and mean similar things across languages. These are usually formed when two words or languages are of a common origin or root language such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word insatiable is provided by Word Sense. 

  • Serbo-Croatian: nezajàžljiv‎, незаја̀жљив‎
  • Georgian: გაუმაძღარი‎
  • Portuguese: insaciável‎ (masc.) (fem.)
  • Catalan: insaciable‎
  • Lithuanian: nepasotinamas‎
  • Spanish: insaciable‎
  • Finnish: tyydyttämätön‎, kyltymätön‎
  • Norwegian: umettelig‎
  • Mandarin: 無法滿足‎, 无法满足‎, 貪得無厭‎, 贪得无厌‎, 貪心‎, 贪心‎ (tānxīn)
  • German: unersättlich‎
  • Swedish: omättlig‎
  • Czech: neukojitelný‎
  • Russian: ненасы́тный‎
  • Danish: umættelig‎
  • Galician: insaciable‎, insaciábel‎
  • Polish: nienasycony‎ (masc.)
  • Italian: insaziabile‎, incontentabile‎
  • Hungarian: telhetetlen‎, kielégíthetetlen‎
  • Japanese: 飽くことを知らない‎ (あくことをしらない, akukoto o shiranai)

How can the word insatiable be used in a sentence?

The word insatiable can be used in numerous different scenarios and sentences to describe someone that cannot be satisfied. In this first example, Milena is talking with her speech team coach about her plans for the future.

Milena: This year I’m taking ten advanced placement classes, as well as other courses at the college so I can get ahead. I plan to graduate a year early, go to Cornell, followed by Harvard Law, and become an entertainment lawyer in New York. Of course, all while taking home the gold in every speech tournament I compete in.

Mr. McNamara: Milena, I admire your insatiable ambition, but I want to make sure you don’t get too burnt out. I want you to have a long career.

Milena: Don’t worry, I’m fine!

In this example, Mr. McNamara describes Milena’s ambition as insatiable, meaning that it is quenchless and he knows she will always come up with new things to accomplish. In this next example, Milena and her speech partner Gwen are arguing about their performance piece.

Milena: If you would do it right, I wouldn’t have to keep nagging you.

Gwen: Milena, you are making insatiable demands left and right. I can’t throw my voice in two places at once. Take it down a notch.

Milena: Maybe you should take it up a notch!

In this example, Gwen describes Milena’s demands as insatiable, meaning that she is never satisfied with Gwen’s performance. 

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word insatiable?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word insatiable. These are known as synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are a useful tool to know when it comes to  English language grammar because they can help to expand a person’s vocabulary and in turn prevent them from repeating themselves in conversation or written work. This list of synonyms for the word insatiable is provided by Thesaurus

  • could eat a horse
  • devouring
  • resounding
  • greedy
  • yearning
  • desiring
  • rapacious
  • forceful
  • unquenchable
  • urgent
  • perseverant
  • unsatiable
  • dogged
  • edacious
  • dire
  • famished
  • unappeasable
  • peremptory
  • avaricious
  • crying
  • reiterative
  • ferocious
  • exigent
  • insistent
  • emphatic
  • burning
  • importunate
  • empty
  • wolfish
  • gluttonous
  • clamorous
  • assertive
  • pressing
  • obstinate
  • starving
  • voracious
  • ravenous
  • insatiate
  • ravening
  • resolute
  • starved
  • imperious
  • starved to death
  • clamant
  • quenchless
  • grasping
  • unsatisfied
  • predatory
  • unrelenting
  • persistent
  • covetous
  • omnivorous
  • unsatisfiable
  • intemperate
  • demanding
  • wanting
  • continuous
  • incessant
  • imperative
  • persevering

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meanings as the word insatiable. These are known as antonyms, which are another great way to try and expand your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word insatiable is also provided by Thesaurus

  • positive
  • brought about
  • gratified
  • serene
  • effected
  • cheerful
  • pleased
  • comfortable
  • obtained
  • satisfied
  • actualized
  • convinced
  • supplied
  • compassed
  • dispatched
  • crowned
  • requited
  • filled
  • accomplished
  • put into effect
  • delighted
  • consummated
  • glad
  • matured
  • realized
  • compensated
  • content
  • attained
  • perfected
  • quenched
  • concluded
  • fulfilled
  • executed
  • brought to a close
  • satiated
  • thankful
  • made good
  • certain
  • complacent
  • appeased
  • at peace
  • achieved
  • sated
  • finished
  • performed
  • paid
  • contented
  • effectuated
  • carried out
  • reached
  • happy

What is the origin of the word insatiable?

According to Etymonline, the word insatiable has been used to mean incapable of being satisfied or inordinately greedy since the early 15th century. This comes from the Old French insaciable meaning ravenous. In the 15th century, the Modern French insatiable began to be used. This may have also come directly from the Latin insatiabilis meaning not to be satisfied. This comes from the prefix in  meaning not and the root satiabilis, from satiare meaning to fulfill or satisfy. This comes from the root satis meaning enough. Related words include the adverb insatiably, the nouns insatiableness, insatiability, and insatiety, as well as words like satisfied, satiety, satiate, satiable, satisfactory, and many more. 

Overall, the word insatiable describes someone that either literally or figuratively cannot be satisfied. This adjective can be used to describe physical needs like hunger or thirst but can also be used figuratively to describe some other type of insatiable need. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/insatiable
  2. https://www.wordsense.eu/insatiable/
  3. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/satisfied
  4. https://www.etymonline.com/word/insatiable
  5. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insatiable#:~:text=%3A%20incapable%20of%20being%20satisfied%20%3A%20quenchless%20had%20an%20insatiable%20desire%20for%20wealth
  6. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/insatiable