noun \in-ˈdəl-jən(t)s\

: the behavior or attitude of people who allow themselves to do what they want or who allow other people to do what they want

: the act of doing something that you enjoy but that is usually thought of as wrong or unhealthy

: something that is done or enjoyed as a special pleasure

Full Definition of INDULGENCE

:  remission of part or all of the temporal and especially purgatorial punishment that according to Roman Catholicism is due for sins whose eternal punishment has been remitted and whose guilt has been pardoned (as through the sacrament of reconciliation)
:  the act of indulging :  the state of being indulgent
a :  an indulgent act
b :  an extension of time for payment or performance granted as a favor
a :  the act of indulging in something; especially :  self-indulgence
b :  something indulged in <walk off gastronomic indulgences — Barbara L. Michaels>

Examples of INDULGENCE

  1. She lived a life of selfish indulgence.
  2. his indulgence in forbidden pleasures
  3. She found that she couldn't afford the indulgences she had once enjoyed.
  4. For our anniversary we allowed ourselves the indulgence of an elegant dinner at our favorite restaurant.
  5. Good food is my only indulgence.

First Known Use of INDULGENCE

14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In Roman Catholicism, the remission of temporal punishment for a sin after the sin has been forgiven through the sacrament of penance. The theology of indulgences is based on the concept that, even though the sin and its eternal punishment are forgiven through penance, divine justice demands that the sinner pay for the crime either in this life or in purgatory. The first indulgences were intended to shorten times of penance by substituting periods of fasting, private prayers, almsgiving, and monetary payments that were to be used for religious purposes. Pope Urban II granted the first plenary, or absolute, indulgence to participants in the First Crusade, and subsequent popes offered indulgences on the occasion of the later Crusades. After the 12th century they were more widely used, and abuses became common as indulgences were put up for sale to earn money for the church or to enrich unscrupulous clerics. Jan Hus opposed them, and Martin Luther's Ninety-five Theses (1517) were in part a protest against indulgences. In 1562 the Council of Trent put an end to the abuses but not to the doctrine itself.


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