in·dul·gent | \ in-ˈdəl-jənt \

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

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

What too much autofiction has in common is a weakness for the self-indulgent, for spelling things out and for elevating the quotidian, the banal into thin profundities. Mark Sarvas, New York Times, "He’s a Lifer at Angola. He’s Black. Was He Falsely Convicted?," 4 May 2018 Its ice cream, in several gourmet flavors, is made to order by blending fresh milk with food-grade liquid nitrogen, producing an extra-smooth and indulgent frozen treat. Leeanne Griffin,, "25-Plus Popular Ice Cream Spots In Connecticut," 21 May 2018 Six perfectly blanched shrimp lined a schooner for a classic shrimp cocktail, and shrimp made a strong and indulgent showing with seafood stuffing fried to a mahogany crunch. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: McAdoo’s Seafood rides a strong wave in New Braunfels," 10 May 2018 Others called it self-indulgent, made to please herself. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Rihanna on Body Image, Turning 30, and Staying Real—No Matter What," 3 May 2018 The Pierre Our first choice for an elegant and indulgent afternoon tea, this high tea service includes blinis topped with caviar, sweet ginger scones, and caramel éclairs. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "The 7 Best Places for Afternoon Tea in New York City," 29 Nov. 2017 Then head inland for the island’s spiritual hub, Ubud: The Four Seasons there is one of the most indulgent overnighting spots nestled amid the treetops. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Places to Visit in July," 15 June 2018 The restaurant offers healthy grain bowls as well as more indulgent duck-fat tater tots (rooms from $189). Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "Your Next Trip Might Change Your Life," 1 June 2018 DeVos' critics, meanwhile, saw her cutback of loan relief for Corinthian students as part and parcel of a more indulgent approach to for-profit higher education firms. Michael Hiltzik,, "A federal court gives defrauded Corinthian College students a victory over Betsy DeVos," 29 May 2018

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 above

History and Etymology for indulgent

Latin indulgent-, indulgens, present participle of indulgēre

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Dictionary Entries near indulgent


indulge in






Statistics for indulgent

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for indulgent

The first known use of indulgent was in 1509

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English Language Learners Definition of indulgent

: 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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on indulgent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for indulgent

Spanish Central: Translation of indulgent

Nglish: Translation of indulgent for Spanish Speakers

Comments on indulgent

What made you want to look up indulgent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make amends

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