in·​dul·​gent | \ in-ˈdəl-jənt How to pronounce indulgent (audio) \

Definition of indulgent

1 : willing to allow excessive leniency, generosity, or consideration : indulging or characterized by indulgence indulgent grandparents
2 : done or enjoyed as a special treat or pleasure indulgent desserts

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Other Words from indulgent

indulgently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for indulgent



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Examples of indulgent in a Sentence

He gave the child an indulgent smile. she was perhaps a bit too indulgent with her children, who always seemed to get away with everything
Recent Examples on the Web There’s something so special about taking to the open road: windows down, favorite playlist blaring and indulgent snacks at the ready. USA Today, "Amp up your next road trip by choosing a theme, whether it be whale watching or taco tasting," 5 Apr. 2021 Note: Make these decadent, ultra-chocolatey sticky buns the night before and bake in the morning for an indulgent and memorable breakfast treat. Meredith Deeds Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Do-ahead steps make a lavish homemade brunch easy," 24 Mar. 2021 Although Twombly becomes more popular every year, for many people, his work is just indulgent scribble, a travesty of painting. Washington Post, "Yes, your kid could (probably) do this," 31 Mar. 2021 Friends who had scoffed at her line of work — deeming it self-indulgent — asked for referrals. Los Angeles Times, "They were battling the psychological toll of the pandemic. Their therapist was, too," 26 Mar. 2021 His may be a stunted, self-indulgent vision, but that’s arguably better than no vision at all. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ has arrived. The wait was long — and so is the movie," 15 Mar. 2021 This desire—to see oneself as others do—is not in any way self-indulgent, but is crucial to forming and sustaining a viable sense of identity. Meghan O'gieblyn, Wired, "Why Can't I Stop Staring at My Own Face on Zoom?," 4 Mar. 2021 Their Catskills property, which opened in February 2020, is strikingly maximalist: the rooms have wallpaper and textiles ripped straight from Pendleton swatches; the bar and restaurant feels like a kitsch Alpine den from a more indulgent era past. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "When the Pandemic Ends, Hospitality Design Will Reflect Our Need to Celebrate," 25 Feb. 2021 That kind of freedom can enable showrunners’ more indulgent tendencies. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, "With a big Netflix deal and the power to green-light almost anything, Ryan Murphy has become the ultimate insider. And his work is suffering.," 4 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indulgent.' 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 indulgent

1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for indulgent

Latin indulgent-, indulgens, present participle of indulgēre

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Time Traveler for indulgent

Time Traveler

The first known use of indulgent was in 1509

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Statistics for indulgent

Last Updated

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indulgent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of indulgent

sometimes disapproving : willing to allow someone to have or enjoy something even though it may not be proper, healthy, appropriate, etc.
: done or enjoyed as a special pleasure


in·​dul·​gent | \ in-ˈdəl-jənt How to pronounce indulgent (audio) \

Kids Definition of indulgent

: feeling or showing a willingness to allow enjoyment of whatever is wanted : lenient indulgent parents

Other Words from indulgent

indulgently adverb

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Nglish: Translation of indulgent for Spanish Speakers

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