in·​dulge | \ in-ˈdəlj How to pronounce indulge (audio) \
indulged; indulging

Definition of indulge

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to indulge oneself

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Other Words from indulge

indulger noun

Synonyms for indulge


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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of indulge in a Sentence

It's my birthday. I'm going to indulge myself and eat whatever I want to eat. It's my birthday. I'm going to indulge. Please indulge me while I review the topics we covered yesterday. The museum is an excellent place to let children indulge their curiosity about dinosaurs. She bought a house with a big yard so that she could indulge her passion for gardening.
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Recent Examples on the Web Splash in the island’s impossibly turquoise waters, drink the day away at one of the many beach bars (Gwen’s Reggae Bar and Sandy Island are two musts), and indulge in the island’s surprising foodie culture (one word: Blanchard’s). Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "These 6 New Flights to the Caribbean Will Get You to the Beach in No Time," 3 Feb. 2020 In 1930, the English economist John Maynard Keynes took a break from writing about the problems of the interwar economy and indulged in a bit of futurology. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Can We Have Prosperity Without Growth?," 3 Feb. 2020 At the end, everyone — including Billy Ray Cyrus, whose appearance on the original remix vaulted the song to pop novelty infamy — convened together, dancing and partying and generally indulging in the utterly absurd unlikeliness of it all. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "A Big Night for the Grammys’ Rookie Class," 27 Jan. 2020 Foodies gathered at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott and Convention Center Thursday night and indulged in the delicious gourmet treats from Montgomery County’s finest eateries at The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce’s 34th annual Taste of the Town. Laraib Hashmi, Houston Chronicle, "Food enthusiasts enjoy samples from area eateries at Taste of the Town in The Woodlands," 17 Jan. 2020 Take in an art-making session led by guest artists, sketch in the galleries, pose in a photo booth and indulge in a snack or coffee from the Buon Giorno Coffee Trike. Deborah Fleck, Dallas News, "17 fun things to do the week of Jan. 3-9 in Dallas-Fort Worth," 2 Jan. 2020 From Aleali May to Cardi B, all of our favorite style stars jetted to Paris last week to indulge in the fashion festivities. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Gabrielle Union And Dwyane Wade Make A Stop At Paris Fashion Week For #WadeWorldTour," 22 Jan. 2020 The company said the new smaller offerings give those who are trying to cut back a way to indulge without going all the way. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "Krispy Kreme is rolling out a mini version of their classic doughnuts," 6 Jan. 2020 During a holiday party at the Capitol last week, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, took a break from sampling chocolate desserts and greeting guests to indulge a moment of private merriment. Robert P. Baird, The New Yorker, "The Art of the Democratic Deal," 16 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of indulge

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

History and Etymology for indulge

Latin indulgēre to be complaisant

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Time Traveler for indulge

Time Traveler

The first known use of indulge was circa 1623

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Statistics for indulge

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indulge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for indulge


How to pronounce indulge (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of indulge

: 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


in·​dulge | \ in-ˈdəlj How to pronounce indulge (audio) \
indulged; indulging

Kids Definition of indulge

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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More from Merriam-Webster on indulge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for indulge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with indulge

Spanish Central: Translation of indulge

Nglish: Translation of indulge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indulge for Arabic Speakers

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