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

Definition of indulge

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to indulge oneself

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Other Words from indulge

indulger noun

Synonyms for indulge


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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 The huge red and yellow canopies of Houston Garden Centers are hard to miss, so indulge yourself and follow the beacon to this plant giant. Sarah Sarder, Chron, 3 June 2021 Fans can also indulge at a few eateries, including Pym Test Kitchen, where purported scientific experiments have made some foods — such as meatballs and hamburger buns — either tiny or oversized. Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2021 Bunting can't wait for some friendly back-and-forth with Garland, who will most certainly indulge. José M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, 12 May 2021 For me, one of the great wonders of my adopted hometown is that anyone can spontaneously naturalize themselves as a New Yorker—and, most importantly, that the city will generously indulge them. John Wray, Travel + Leisure, 8 Mar. 2021 Harper's Sensorial Resets, a collection of curated experiences designed indulge all the senses, work not just to restore balance to the skin but to the entire body. April Long, Town & Country, 24 May 2021 Fans of the teen romance genre can indulge with 2010's Flipped, while those all for the classics will finally be able to stream Seasons 1 through 9 of Seinfeld, which hits Netflix globally. Sabrina Park, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 May 2021 On a foggy day, revel in the feeling of living on an island above the clouds — and on a clear day, indulge in vast ocean views. Hillary Maglin, Travel + Leisure, 16 May 2021 The tradeoff, as always, is spared from the constraints normally associated with movies, filmmakers working in the streaming space occasionally indulge in too many beats that don't add to the overall effect. Brian Lowry, CNN, 13 May 2021

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 2a

History and Etymology for indulge

Latin indulgēre to be complaisant

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Learn More About indulge

Time Traveler for indulge

Time Traveler

The first known use of indulge was circa 1623

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Statistics for indulge

Last Updated

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indulge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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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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