in·dul·gence | \ in-ˈdəl-jən(t)s \

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

Such models are big and sturdy enough to haul your sleeping gear, tent, and a few indulgences, like a camp chair or an espresso maker. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Backpacking Packs," 13 July 2018 Apart from working with a variety of charities close to her heart and making a name for herself as a strong, bold woman, Herring also takes pleasure in enjoying some of life's indulgences. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "Houston socialite, philanthropist Joanne Herring through the years," 3 July 2018 The ultimate day of indulgence is coming May 8, 2018 from 4 - 8pm. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Häagen Dazs gives away free ice cream cones today," 8 May 2018 They could be waved away as the harmless indulgences of an old man, acceptably enamored with the bloom of youth. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Hemingway’s Last Girl," 12 July 2018 So don't let yourself be seduced by the sheer indulgence of dousing yourself in expensive water. Rachel Krause,, "Is Your Face Mist Actually Making Your Skin Worse?," 8 May 2018 As if to emphasize the potential hazards of rock and roll over-indulgence, a small plane circled the mighty crowd, towing a banner advertising intravenous rehydration for hangovers at somewhere called the Remedy Room. Doug Maccash,, "Aerosmith sings for the years, laughter and tears at Jazz Fest 2018," 5 May 2018 Visitors can get away from city life to engage in more slow-paced indulgences, like fishing in a former quarry that’s now a stocked pond, strolling along streams and wetlands, or even gazing at the city skyline atop a 33-foot hill., "Secret Chicago: 40 of the city's best-kept mystery spots," 1 May 2018 While sometimes only the full-figured, sugary indulgence of red-label Coca-Cola will truly satisfy a craving, more practical beverages often will do the trick—witness Coke Zero. Car and Driver, "2018 10Best Trucks and SUVs: The Best Models in Every Segment," 30 Jan. 2018

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

6 Sep 2018

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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 \

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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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