in·​dulge | \ in-ˈdəlj How to pronounce indulge (audio) \
indulged; indulging

Definition of indulge

transitive verb

1a : to give free rein to
b : to take unrestrained pleasure in : gratify
2a : to yield to the desire of : humor please indulge me for a moment
b : to treat with excessive leniency, generosity, or consideration

intransitive verb

: to indulge oneself

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Other Words from indulge

indulger noun

Synonyms for indulge


cater (to), gratify, humor

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Choose the Right Synonym for indulge

indulge, pamper, humor, spoil, baby, mollycoddle mean to show undue favor to a person's desires and feelings. indulge implies excessive compliance and weakness in gratifying another's or one's own desires. indulged myself with food at the slightest excuse pamper implies inordinate gratification of desire for luxury and comfort with consequent enervating effect. pampered by the amenities of modern living humor stresses a yielding to a person's moods or whims. humored him by letting him tell the story spoil stresses the injurious effects on character by indulging or pampering. foolish parents spoil their children baby suggests excessive care, attention, or solicitude. babying students by grading too easily mollycoddle suggests an excessive degree of care and attention to another's health or welfare. refused to mollycoddle her malingering son

Examples of indulge in a Sentence

It's my birthday. I'm going to indulge myself and eat whatever I want to eat. It's my birthday. I'm going to indulge. Please indulge me while I review the topics we covered yesterday. The museum is an excellent place to let children indulge their curiosity about dinosaurs. She bought a house with a big yard so that she could indulge her passion for gardening.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Need an excuse to indulge in a bowl of pasta or pastrami on rye? Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "Taste of Montrose, benefiting The Women's Home, kicks off June 10," 5 June 2019 For those that have yet to indulge in The Perfectionists, here's a quick rundown: Alison DiLaurentis started a new teaching job at Beacon Heights University, where Mona just so happens to also be a faculty member. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""The Perfectionists" Star Sydney Park on "Screaming" Over That Text from "A" and Paying Homage to an Iconic "PLL" Moment," 24 Apr. 2019 The country once defined by its stiff upper lip has been indulging in a kind of orgy of public histrionics more commonly associated with Latin American telenovelas. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "The Great Brexit Breakdown," 7 Dec. 2018 When lingering around Paris Fashion Week, the only sensible means of readying for multiple evenings out is to indulge in a menu of makeup looks able to distract, if only momentarily, from the shimmer of the City of Light. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Bella Hadid Reveals Two Femme Fatale Makeup Looks in Paris," 27 Sep. 2018 But there is a wrong answer: And that is to indulge the prejudices of people who aren’t really seeing anything, but are saying plenty. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "Riley: See-something, say-something policies can't be tools for racism," 12 May 2018 Most recently Nars has been indulging his obsession with pictures by working on yearly capsule collections inspired by other visual artists, living or not, such as Guy Bourdin and Andy Warhol. Alexandra Marshall, Town & Country, "Makeup Genius François Nars and the Importance of Photography," 8 Sep. 2017 In mining the past, Soft Science sees new possibilities rather than a chance to indulge in retro fetishism. Greg Kot,, "Soft Science builds dreams amid chaos on 'Maps'," 8 June 2018 In fact, Witherspoon, 42, often shares photos of herself indulging in her candy namesake on social media. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "WATCH: This Southern Celeb is the Only Person Reese’s Follows on Instagram," 10 May 2018

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

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for indulge

Latin indulgēre to be complaisant

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Statistics for indulge

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for indulge

The first known use of indulge was circa 1623

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More Definitions for indulge



English Language Learners Definition of indulge

: to allow (yourself) to have or do something as a special pleasure
: to allow (someone) to have or do something even though it may not be proper, healthy, appropriate, etc.
: to patiently allow (someone) to do or say something


in·​dulge | \ in-ˈdəlj How to pronounce indulge (audio) \
indulged; indulging

Kids Definition of indulge

1 : to give in to the desires of Grandparents often indulge their grandchildren.
2 : to give in to a desire for something For my birthday, I indulged in a day off.

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More from Merriam-Webster on indulge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with indulge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for indulge

Spanish Central: Translation of indulge

Nglish: Translation of indulge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indulge for Arabic Speakers

Comments on indulge

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showing courage and determination

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