verb in·dulge \ in-ˈdəlj \
|Updated on: 8 Aug 2018

Definition of indulge

indulged; indulging
1 a : to give free rein to
b : to take unrestrained pleasure in : gratify
2 a : to yield to the desire of : humor
  • please indulge me for a moment
b : to treat with excessive leniency, generosity, or consideration
: to indulge oneself



Examples of indulge in a Sentence

  1. It's my birthday. I'm going to indulge myself and eat whatever I want to eat.

  2. It's my birthday. I'm going to indulge.

  3. Please indulge me while I review the topics we covered yesterday.

  4. The museum is an excellent place to let children indulge their curiosity about dinosaurs.

  5. She bought a house with a big yard so that she could indulge her passion for gardening.

Recent Examples of indulge from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of indulge

Latin indulgēre to be complaisant

Synonym Discussion of indulge

indulge, pamper, humor, spoil, baby, mollycoddle mean to show undue favor to a person's desires and feelings. indulge implies excessive compliance and weakness in gratifying another's or one's own desires.
    • indulged myself with food at the slightest excuse
pamper implies inordinate gratification of desire for luxury and comfort with consequent enervating effect.
    • pampered by the amenities of modern living
humor stresses a yielding to a person's moods or whims.
    • humored him by letting him tell the story
spoil stresses the injurious effects on character by indulging or pampering.
    • foolish parents spoil their children
baby suggests excessive care, attention, or solicitude.
    • babying students by grading too easily
mollycoddle suggests an excessive degree of care and attention to another's health or welfare.
    • refused to mollycoddle her malingering son

INDULGE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of indulge for English Language Learners

  • : to allow (yourself) to have or do something as a special pleasure

  • : to allow (someone) to have or do something even though it may not be proper, healthy, appropriate, etc.

  • : to patiently allow (someone) to do or say something

INDULGE Defined for Kids


verb in·dulge \ in-ˈdəlj \

Definition of indulge for Students

indulged; indulging
1 : to give in to the desires of
  • Grandparents often indulge their grandchildren.
2 : to give in to a desire for something
  • For my birthday, I indulged in a day off.

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excessive admiration or flattery

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