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 After indulging in all the other goodies, the healthy soup recipe is a nice change of pace. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "Disney Just Shared Some of Its Famous Pumpkin Recipes for You to Make at Home," 20 May 2020 That was when the clubs were fully open, indulging members in a sort of last hurrah of cocktails by the pool and a member-guest tournament. Amanda L Gordon,, "Billionaire Resort Mecca of Palm Beach Turns to Virtual Life," 13 May 2020 One of the menus offers customers a variety of protein bowls while those with a sweet tooth can indulge themselves on cinnamon rolls topped with fruit, cereal or chocolate. Paulina Pineda, azcentral, "Tempe puts in $25K to boost local shop and restaurant revenues with gift card program," 14 Apr. 2020 But the region also produces and indulges in the robust, pungent flavors of ingredients like anchovies, dark olives, garlic, and capers that grow nearby as well. Saveur Editors, Saveur, "Niçoise Salad: You’re Perfect. Now Change," 21 May 2019 Visiting friends and family, indulging in dine-in Tex-Mex and going to an in-person church service were some of the most popular responses. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Here's what Houstonians can't wait to do after quarantine ends," 24 Apr. 2020 There are various ways to observe the holiday, but for beauty enthusiasts, there’s only one way to go about it: indulge in opulent CBD (Cannabidiol) infused skincare products. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Celebrate 4/20 With These CBD-Infused Beauty Products," 20 Apr. 2020 Nobody is going on dates or indulging in reckless behavior right now—not even the people who normally get paid to do so on national television. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "A Dating Show Fit for a Pandemic," 19 Apr. 2020 Cobra Gold is also well known as an important jungle warfare training exercise, where U.S. soldiers typically have the opportunity to indulge in unique opportunities, including famously drinking king cobra snake blood as part of survival training. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Pentagon Is Canceling Military Exercises Because of Coronavirus," 3 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for indulge

Time Traveler

The first known use of indulge was circa 1623

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Statistics for indulge

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indulge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for indulge


How to pronounce indulge (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for indulge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with indulge

Spanish Central: Translation of indulge

Nglish: Translation of indulge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indulge for Arabic Speakers

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