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

Definition of indulgence

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Another who lived the dream, the records the accolades, the periodic indulgences and who became synonymous with the franchise. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "Raiders fans creatively turn Antonio Brown jerseys into Tim Brown jerseys," 9 Sep. 2019 Female indulgence is often displayed as shirking from work, whereas men are portrayed as having enough power to travel the world on a whim. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "We have hedonism all wrong, according to ancient Greek philosophy," 8 Sep. 2019 The shavings — scraped from a medallion that’s been seared and then frozen — melt before the dish arrives at your place, but leave a lingering fattiness that’s just the right amount of indulgence. Christina Tkacik,, "At Coelum, go for the foie, skip the CBD," 27 Aug. 2019 The general indulgence was offered as an extension of the king’s dispensing power, essentially a power to pardon. Declan Leary, National Review, "Conservatives Should Not Celebrate Religious Tyranny and Coercion," 19 July 2019 Frampton’s robust big-crowd sing-along, a classic of a very specific era of indulgence. James Sullivan,, "Peter Frampton comes alive again in farewell-tour show in Boston," 10 July 2019 Most meat-eaters love a juicy hamburger or steak - but that should fall more in the category of indulgence than in dietary staple. Jenna Birch, Anchorage Daily News, "From fish to bacon: A ranking of animal protein in order of healthfulness," 10 July 2019 There was something Trumpean about it all—a suggestion not of redemption and forgiveness but of indulgence, or abandon. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Inside the Cultish Dreamworld of Augusta National," 14 June 2019 When things seemingly couldn’t be better, a last round of indulgence came in the form of thin crust pizzas and smoked bufala mozzarella. Carmen Rosy Hall, Vogue, "Natalia Vodianova Puts the Fabulous in Her Fabulous Fund Fair With Vuitton, Dior, and Stella McCartney Goodies Up for Grabs," 20 Feb. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of indulgence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near indulgence

in due time


indulge in





Statistics for indulgence

Last Updated

4 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for indulgence

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

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English Language Learners Definition of indulgence

: 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


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.

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Comments on indulgence

What made you want to look up indulgence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a bell tower

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