indulgence

noun

in·​dul·​gence in-ˈdəl-jən(t)s How to pronounce indulgence (audio)
1
a
: the act of indulging in something
especially : self-indulgence
b
: something indulged in
walk off gastronomic indulgencesBarbara L. Michaels
2
a
: 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 Spending significant amounts on an item is often associated with a sense of luxury, creating a feeling of exclusivity and indulgence. Pattie Ehsaei, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 That would have put the celebration on Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, a day traditionally marked by a big pancake supper and other immoderate and extravagant indulgences on the night before fasting and sobriety take over for Lent. Ruth Graham, New York Times, 14 Feb. 2024 Sweets are a popular Lenten sacrifice, alongside alcohol, junk food and other indulgences. Amanda Yeager, Baltimore Sun, 7 Feb. 2024 This was the world in which Casanova circulated, one in which enjoyment and indulgence were encouraged, not castigated. Gaile Robinson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 31 Jan. 2024 Limited worldly experiences and unlimited digital indulgences have created a void for meaningful connection. Vanessa Labi, Sacramento Bee, 31 Jan. 2024 So is refraining from the needless indulgence of a burger that trades in excess and more excess. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2024 In exploring class warfare, the film revels in indulgence and obsession. Jenelle Riley, Variety, 16 Dec. 2023 And while Anderson does commit the sin of indulgence for the sake of being comprehensive, her aim comes into view when the cumulative power of having accompanied the ferocious heroine on each of her quests reveals to us the breadth of the character’s affecting arc toward the end. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 30 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'indulgence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

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

Dictionary Entries Near indulgence

Cite this Entry

“Indulgence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indulgence. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

indulgence

noun
in·​dul·​gence in-ˈdəl-jən(t)s How to pronounce indulgence (audio)
1
: the act of indulging : the state of being indulgent
2
: an indulgent act
3
: something indulged in

More from Merriam-Webster on indulgence

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!