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

That's not to mention the sheer indulgence of showering with this. Talia Abbas, SELF, "This Whipped Cream Body Wash Is Honestly More Fun Than It Should Be," 4 Sep. 2019 Set against that backdrop, a return to the indulgence and patronage of the pre-Tsipras era would be calamitous. The Economist, "Family trouble," 4 July 2019 Extreme gustatory indulgence is also popular at Milkcraft, which has locations in West Hartford Center, Fairfield and, most recently, New Haven. Deborah Hornblow,, "The Big Chill: Here’s the scoop on some of the coolest ice cream," 3 July 2019 That is the greatest and most wondrous indulgence of all. Drew Magary, GQ, "Anthony Bourdain Was the Most Interesting Man in the World," 9 June 2018 Give me the honest neronic wink-wink indulgence of Vegas, baby! over the pretentious stateliness of Washington any time. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Las Vegas: The Allure of the Ersatz," 22 Aug. 2019 But the Woodstock festival was simultaneously an epiphany and an indulgence. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Woodstock’s Contradictions, 50 Years Later," 5 Aug. 2019 The indulgence comes from blue cheese and a little mascarpone, which create a luxurious yet punchy sauce. Joe Yonan, Twin Cities, "Cook broccoli longer and it becomes as comforting as this bowl of pasta," 20 June 2019 Lover’s Deep: This is the ultimate honeymoon indulgence: a private, luxury submarine where couples can spend a night under the waves. Karen Carmichael, National Geographic, "Don’t scuba? Here are 10 other underwater thrills," 7 June 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

20 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for indulgence

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

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More Definitions for indulgence



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).


concealment of treason or felony

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