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 As other steps are considered, the president must not overstep his authority or indulge his autocratic tendencies for purposes not truly related to this public health crisis. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "'Two very big words': Trump declares national emergency to combat spread of coronavirus," 13 Mar. 2020 Videos of huge mobs beating up people and indulging in arson were circulated on social media, often apparently with the backing of the police. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Ten dead in Delhi citizenship riots amidst Trump’s maiden India visit," 24 Feb. 2020 Neymar, certainly, has not been helped by being at a team so willing to indulge him, so in awe of his celebrity that more than one coach has felt unable to discipline him. Rory Smith, New York Times, "The Fading of a Star," 8 Feb. 2020 Written by Brie along with director Jeff Baena, Horse Girl rides a tricky tonal line between questioning Sarah's increasingly unmoored mental state and indulging it, so as to better chart the ordeal from her perspective. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to watch (and skip) in theaters and on Netflix this weekend," 7 Feb. 2020 Our solution for such chilly moments is, not surprisingly, to fire up the coffee kettle and indulge ourselves with a few cups of stimulation. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Trump proceeds with plan to allow importation; most Americans misunderstand FDA approvals," 18 Dec. 2019 And the final showdown lets Gilligan indulge himself as a Western filmmaker. Darren Franich,, "El Camino is the Breaking Bad finale for everyone who thought Jesse got a raw deal," 11 Oct. 2019 There is so much good that ordinary people can do, whether or not the world approves them, and the Moltkes provide one look at how this can be done, without indulging fear or histrionics. Mary Spencer, National Review, "What Real Resistance Looks Like," 29 Feb. 2020 Love is in the air and even those too cynical for a little V-day cheer can indulge this fine Friday. Hannah Rimm,, "These Valentine’s Day Food Deals Will Make Your Heart (& Belly) Sing," 14 Feb. 2020

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

20 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indulge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 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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