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

Definition of indulgence

1a : the act of indulging in something especially : self-indulgence
b : something indulged in walk off gastronomic indulgences— Barbara L. Michaels
2a : 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)

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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 The food and atmosphere at Turner’s, which opened in March on the first floor of The Annie Café & Bar near Uptown Park, are splendid indulgence. Marcy De Luna, Chron, "The 10 best dishes at Houston's newest restaurants," 7 Jan. 2021 But in this recipe, chestnut puree bound with cream and a drizzle of warmed Nutella turn the formerly light classic into an indulgence., "What to make, buy, eat and drink for Christmas," 22 Dec. 2020 Without warrant, self care can hold a tinge-ring of indulgence. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Cleansing Rituals to Try for The New Year," 28 Dec. 2020 There's nothing like a little art therapy and childhood indulgence to distract from returning cold weather and lockdown fatigue. Michelle Pemberton, The Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis artists Make-A-Flake so you can create your own at home," 30 Nov. 2020 There are even more jaw-dropping moments of extreme indulgence to be found on the cast's Instagram feeds, all of which can be found below. Andrea Park, Marie Claire, "The 'Bling Empire' Cast's Instagram Feeds Are Even Wilder Than the Show," 21 Jan. 2021 Rachel Brosnahan reveals her beauty secrets, from her go-to drugstore cleanser to her ultimate skin-care indulgence, in a video from’s sister site, Vogue. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Former Ohio utility regulator suggested wording revisions to nuclear bailout bill: The Wake Up for Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021," 12 Jan. 2021 Synonymous with indulgence, wellness, and damn-good products, the one-stop-shop for everything high-end beauty constantly leaves us waiting with bated breath for any kind of sale. Blake Newby, Allure, "Violet Grey Slashed the Prices of These Luxury Beauty Brands for Cyber Monday," 30 Nov. 2020 Dick's Sporting Goods: With running shoes a popular Black Friday indulgence, the sports gear company opens at 5 a.m. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Which stores are open—and when—on 2020’s unusual Black Friday," 26 Nov. 2020

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 4

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Time Traveler for indulgence Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for indulgence

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indulgence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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

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