Synonyms & Antonyms of indulge

1 to give in to (a desire)
  • the grandparents indulged the child's wishes to an extent that they never did with their own children

Synonyms for indulge

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2 to give (oneself) over to something especially unrestrainedly
  • conventioneers who were obviously eager to indulge themselves in all of the vices that Las Vegas might offer

Synonyms for indulge

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Antonyms for indulge

3 to treat with great or excessive care
  • you indulge those grandkids in ways you never did with your own kids

Synonyms for indulge

Words Related to indulge

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Antonyms for indulge

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Frequently Asked Questions About indulge

How does the verb indulge contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of indulge are baby, humor, mollycoddle, pamper, and spoil. While all these words 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

Where would baby be a reasonable alternative to indulge?

While in some cases nearly identical to indulge, baby suggests excessive care, attention, or solicitude.

babying students by grading too easily

When could humor be used to replace indulge?

The words humor and indulge can be used in similar contexts, but humor stresses a yielding to a person's moods or whims.

humored him by letting him tell the story

When would mollycoddle be a good substitute for indulge?

While the synonyms mollycoddle and indulge are close in meaning, mollycoddle suggests an excessive degree of care and attention to another's health or welfare.

refused to mollycoddle her malingering son

When is it sensible to use pamper instead of indulge?

The words pamper and indulge are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, pamper implies inordinate gratification of desire for luxury and comfort with consequent enervating effect.

pampered by the amenities of modern living

When can spoil be used instead of indulge?

In some situations, the words spoil and indulge are roughly equivalent. However, spoil stresses the injurious effects on character by indulging or pampering.

foolish parents spoil their children

Learn More About indulge

Time Traveler for indulge

Time Traveler

The first known use of indulge was circa 1623

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Cite this Entry

“Indulge.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on indulge

Nglish: Translation of indulge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indulge for Arabic Speakers


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