in·​dul·​gence | \ in-ˈdəl-jən(t)s How to pronounce indulgence (audio) \

Definition of indulgence

1a : the act of indulging in something especially : self-indulgence
b : something indulged in walk off gastronomic indulgences— Barbara L. Michaels
2a : an indulgent act
b : an extension of time for payment or performance granted as a favor
3 : the act of indulging : the state of being indulgent
4 : 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)

Examples of indulgence in a Sentence

She lived a life of selfish indulgence. his indulgence in forbidden pleasures She found that she couldn't afford the indulgences she had once enjoyed. For our anniversary we allowed ourselves the indulgence of an elegant dinner at our favorite restaurant. Good food is my only indulgence.
Recent Examples on the Web For holiday indulgence in your own backyard, pull out all the stops and grill a couple of slabs of pork ribs coated in a spicy herb mixture. Ariel Cheung, Chicago Tribune, 1 Sep. 2022 But rather than a space for delicious indulgence, The Menu will depict fine dining as the setting for an anxiety-inducing thriller, as guests are hunted and trapped by a murderous celebrity chef, played by Ralph Fiennes. Nico Avalle, Bon Appétit, 15 Aug. 2022 What's Inside: 25 of Susanne Kaufmann's best-selling skin, body, and bath products like the Eye Rescue Stick, Enzyme Peel, and Herbal Whey Bath Nourishing, including four full-sized products for maximum indulgence. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 8 July 2022 An afternoon at the Ritz, after all, is always a time for indulgence. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 6 July 2022 To this day, stories about The Lemonheads tend to focus on frontman Evan Dando’s looks and penchant for indulgence in extracurricular activities, overlooking the strength of the songs themselves. Jim Ryan, Forbes, 29 June 2022 Their bathroom will be stocked and ready for prime beauty indulgence with this set from Milk Makeup that includes a blush, mascara, primer,setting spray, and lime green makeup bag to hold everything in. Abby Dupes, Seventeen, 2 June 2022 Meantime, Americans will pay for California’s criminal indulgence. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 18 Jan. 2022 This revelation could not come at a better time, because who isn't leaning in to a little indulgence these days? Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 22 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indulgence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of indulgence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

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The first known use of indulgence was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near indulgence

indulge in



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Last Updated

20 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Indulgence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for indulgence


in·​dul·​gence | \ in-ˈdəl-jəns How to pronounce indulgence (audio) \

Kids Definition of indulgence

1 : the practice of allowing enjoyment of whatever is desired He lives a life of indulgence.
2 : an act of doing what is desired She regretted her indulgence in new clothes.
3 : something that a person enjoys or desires Chocolate is an indulgence.

More from Merriam-Webster on indulgence

Nglish: Translation of indulgence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indulgence for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about indulgence


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