What does indulge mean?

Definitions for indulge

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word indulge.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. indulgeverb

    give free rein to

    "The writer indulged in metaphorical language"

  2. gratify, pander, indulgeverb

    yield (to); give satisfaction to

  3. indulge, luxuriateverb

    enjoy to excess

    "She indulges in ice cream"

  4. pamper, featherbed, cosset, cocker, baby, coddle, mollycoddle, spoil, indulgeverb

    treat with excessive indulgence

    "grandparents often pamper the children"; "Let's not mollycoddle our students!"


  1. indulgeverb

    : To yield to a temptation or desire.

    He looked at the chocolate but didn't indulge.

  2. indulgeverb

    To satisfy the wishes or whims of.

    Grandma indulges the kids with sweets.

  3. indulgeverb

    To give way to; not to oppose or restrain.

    to indulge sloth, pride, selfishness, or inclinations

  4. indulgeverb

    To grant an extension to the deadline of a payment.

  5. indulgeverb

    To grant as by favour; to bestow in concession, or in compliance with a wish or request.

    persuading us that something must be indulged to public manners

  6. Etymology: From the Latin indulgeō ("I indulge").

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To INDULGEverb

    Etymology: indulgeo, Latin.

    The lazy glutton safe at home will keep,
    Indulge his sloth, and fatten with his sleep. John Dryden, Pers.

    A mother was wont to indulge her daughters with dogs, squirrels, or birds; but then they must keep them well. John Locke.

    To live like those that have their hope in another life, implies that we indulge ourselves in the gratifications of this life very sparingly. Francis Atterbury.

    Ancient privileges, indulged by former kings to their people, must not, without high reason, be revoked by their successors. Jeremy Taylor, Rule of living holy.

    The virgin ent'ring bright, indulg'd the day
    To the brown cave, and brush'd the dreams away. Dryden.

    This is what nature's want may well suffice;
    But since among mankind so few there are,
    Who will conform to philosophick fare,
    This much I will indulge thee for thy ease,
    And mingle something of our times to please. John Dryden, Juv.

    My friend, indulge one labour more,
    And seek Atrides. Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

    Yet, yet a moment, one dim ray of light
    Indulge, dread chaos and eternal night! Dunciad.

  2. To Indulgeverb

    A Latinism not in use. To be favourable; to give indulgence. With to.

    He must, by indulging to any one sort of reproveable discourse himself, defeat all his endeavours against the rest. Government of the Tongue.


  1. indulge

    In the teaching of the Catholic Church, an indulgence (Latin: indulgentia, from indulgeo, 'permit') is "a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sins". The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes an indulgence as "a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and all of the saints".The recipient of an indulgence must perform an action to receive it. This is most often the saying (once, or many times) of a specified prayer, but may also include a pilgrimage, the visiting of a particular place (such as a shrine, church or cemetery) or the performance of specific good works.Indulgences were introduced to allow for the remission of the severe penances of the early church and granted at the intercession of Christians awaiting martyrdom or at least imprisoned for the faith. The church teaches that indulgences draw on the treasury of merit accumulated by Jesus' superabundantly meritorious sacrifice on the cross and the virtues and penances of the saints. They are granted for specific good works and prayers in proportion to the devotion with which those good works are performed or prayers recited.By the late Middle Ages, indulgences were used to support charities for the public good including hospitals. However, the abuse of indulgences, mainly through commercialization, had become a serious problem which the church recognized but was unable to restrain effectively. Indulgences were, from the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, a target of attacks by Martin Luther and other Protestant theologians. Eventually the Catholic Counter-Reformation curbed the abuses of indulgences, but indulgences continue to play a role in modern Catholic religious life, and were dogmatically confirmed as part of the Catholic faith by the Council of Trent. Reforms in the 20th century largely abolished the quantification of indulgences, which had been expressed in terms of days or years. These days or years were meant to represent the equivalent of time spent in penance, although it was widely mistaken to mean time spent in Purgatory. The reforms also greatly reduced the number of indulgences granted for visiting particular churches and other locations.


  1. indulge

    To indulge means to allow oneself to enjoy a desired pleasure or to yield to a particular desire or interest. It can often involve satisfying one's own desires or cravings, sometimes excessively or without restraint. Alternatively, it can also mean to be lenient or permissive toward someone, granting them freedom to behave as they wish.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Indulgeverb

    to be complacent toward; to give way to; not to oppose or restrain

  2. Indulgeverb

    to give free course to; to give one's self up to; as, to indulge sloth, pride, selfishness, or inclinations;

  3. Indulgeverb

    to yield to the desire of; to gratify by compliance; to humor; to withhold restraint from; as, to indulge children in their caprices or willfulness; to indulge one's self with a rest or in pleasure

  4. Indulgeverb

    to grant as by favor; to bestow in concession, or in compliance with a wish or request

  5. Indulgeverb

    to indulge one's self; to gratify one's tastes or desires; esp., to give one's self up (to); to practice a forbidden or questionable act without restraint; -- followed by in, but formerly, also, by to

  6. Etymology: [L. indulgere to be kind or tender to one; cf. OIr. dilgud, equiv. to L. remissio, OIr. dligeth, equiv. to L. lex, Goth. dulgs debt.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Indulge

    in-dulj′, v.t. to yield to the wishes of: not to restrain, as the will, &c.—v.i. (with in) to gratify one's appetites freely.—ns. Indul′gence, gratification: forbearance of present payment: in the R.C. Church, a remission, to a repentant sinner, of the temporal punishment which remains due after the sin and its eternal punishment have been remitted (Plenary indulgences, such as remit all; Partial, a portion of the temporal punishment due to sin; Temporal, those granted only for a time; Perpetual or Indefinite, those which last till revoked; Personal, those granted to a particular person or confraternity; Local, those gained only in a particular place): exemption of an individual from an ecclesiastical law.—adjs. Indul′gent, yielding to the wishes of others: compliant: not severe; Indulgen′tial.—adv. Indul′gently.—ns. Indul′ger; Indult′, a license granted by the Pope, authorising something to be done which the common law of the Church does not sanction.—Declaration of Indulgence, a proclamation of James II. in 1687, by which he promised to suspend all laws tending to force the conscience of his subjects. [L. indulgēre, to be kind to—in, in, and prob. L. dulcis, sweet.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'indulge' in Verbs Frequency: #1098

Anagrams for indulge »

  1. dueling

  2. eluding

How to pronounce indulge?

How to say indulge in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of indulge in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of indulge in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of indulge in a Sentence

  1. Noah Rothman:

    These are comforting fictions that a lot on the right want to indulge in, ted Cruz, in that sense, is making the best of an opportunity.

  2. Molière:

    Frenchmen have an unlimited capacity for gallantry and indulge it on every occasion.

  3. Ralph Waldo Emerson:

    The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed there is no winter and no night all tragedies, all ennuis, vanish,-all duties even.

  4. Pastor Packiam:

    Sin is not just ‘out there’ in the world — it’s ‘in here’ in us, when we cannot hide behind the projections of ourselves on social media, when we cannot distract ourselves with TV and phones and internet, when we cannot indulge ourselves in food and drink, thenwe come face to face with ourselves — our ugliness and our brokenness.

  5. Mohammad Noor Islam:

    But some of us, who do not indulge in these vices, come here and watch films. We are addicted to films.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for indulge

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • تنغمسArabic
  • nachgeben, frönen, verwöhnen, hätscheln, erliegenGerman
  • του κάνω όλα τα χατήρια, καλομαθαίνω, κακομαθαίνω, υποκύπτω, ενδίδωGreek
  • indulgi, cedi al, dorlotiEsperanto
  • consentir, ceder, mimar, sucumbir, complacerSpanish
  • sortua, hemmotella, maksuaika, langetaFinnish
  • succomber, céder, gâter, dorloter, choyerFrench
  • sucumbir, permitir, consentirGalician
  • סיפקHebrew
  • लिप्तHindi
  • elkényeztet, elcsábulHungarian
  • להתמכרHebrew
  • 甘やかすJapanese
  • indulgereLatin
  • zwichten (voor de verleiding), uitstel van betaling toestaan, koesteren, in de watten leggen, verwennen, toegevenDutch
  • răsfățaRomanian
  • потакать, попустительствовать, потворствовать, ублажать, отсрочить, баловатьRussian
  • unnaSwedish
  • ஈடுபடுத்திTamil
  • ดื่มด่ำThai

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"indulge." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/indulge>.

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    the official who holds an office
    A proprietary
    B incumbent
    C indiscernible
    D appellative

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