from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To yield to (a desire or whim); gratify.
  • intransitive verb To yield to the desires or whims of (someone), often excessively: synonym: pamper.
  • intransitive verb Roman Catholic Church To grant an ecclesiastical indulgence or dispensation to.
  • intransitive verb To indulge oneself.
  • intransitive verb To engage or take part, especially freely or avidly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To be kind or complaisant to; yield to the wish or humor of; gratify by compliance; refrain from restraining; humor: as, to indulge a child.
  • To grant, as a favor; bestow in compliance with desire or petition; accord.
  • To give way to; give free course to: as, to indulge a propensity or a passion.
  • Synonyms Humor, etc. (see gratify); favor, pamper.
  • To gratify one's self freely; give free course to the gratification of one's desires or appetites: followed by in before the object of desire, etc.: as, to indulge in the use of tobacco.
  • To yield; give way: with to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To indulge one's self; to gratify one's tastes or desires; esp., to give one's self up (to); to practice a forbidden or questionable act without restraint; -- followed by in, but formerly, also, by to.
  • transitive verb To be complacent toward; to give way to; not to oppose or restrain.
  • transitive verb to give free course to; to give one's self up to;
  • transitive verb to yield to the desire of; to gratify by compliance; to humor; to withhold restraint from
  • transitive verb To grant as by favor; to bestow in concession, or in compliance with a wish or request.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive : To yield to a temptation or desire.
  • verb transitive To satisfy the wishes or whims of.
  • verb To grant an extension to the deadline of a payment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb yield (to); give satisfaction to
  • verb enjoy to excess
  • verb treat with excessive indulgence
  • verb give free rein to


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin indulgēre; see dlegh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Latin indulgeō ("I indulge").


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  • That large order of large “Natural-Cut French Fries” that I like to order when I indulge is another 500 calories.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » The Double Standard of Libertarian Paternalism 2010

  • That every bad habit in which you indulge is shortening the life of some of your faculties, and that God Himself cannot save you from the doom which you are earning, deserving, and working out for yourself every day and every hour.

    The Water of Life and Other Sermons Charles Kingsley 1847

  • The case supposed, that our own hand, or eye, or foot, offend us; that the impure corruption we indulge is as dear to us as an eye or a hand, or that that which is to us as an eye or a hand, is become an invisible temptation to sin, or occasion of it.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume V (Matthew to John) 1721

  • Their master knew no peace of mind till, having passed the narrows, he found on some moor or common "plenty o 'sea-room," notwithstanding the danger that "plenty o 'sea-room" might induce the too artful Teddy to "turn topsails under," or in other words indulge in

    The Dew of Their Youth 1887

  • There is a sort of listlessness -- or, perhaps, more properly, reverie -- in which many indulge, which is as sinful as it is unprofitable; and there are modes of thinking and subjects of thought, which are, to say the least, unworthy of a rational, intelligent and immortal spirit.

    The Young Woman's Guide William A. Alcott 1824

  • This is a most vexing thing, when persons professing the Christian name indulge themselves in a liberty to walk at random; are impatient of restraints; affect libertinism; have not refrained their feet but have loved to wander: therefore the Lord doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.

    The Whole Works of the Rev. John Howe, M.A. with a Memoir of the Author. Vol. VI. 1630-1705 1822

  • Bellville, does not the very word indulge shew the sensation to be pleasurable?

    The history of Lady Julia Mandeville 1763

  • But you object, 'Must our love to the unbaptized indulge them in an act of disobedience?

    Works of John Bunyan — Volume 02 John Bunyan 1658

  • Of course, the biggest attraction is that it presents a unique opportunity to "indulge" and to "learn about ourselves" and maybe you make or lose money.

    Morris Ruskin: Investing In The Movies Morris Ruskin 2010

  • Where banks are contracting, where typical investments may have failed people, there is an opportunity to "indulge" in a business that seems to be recession proof, yet do so in a conservative and smart way, like the banks.

    Morris Ruskin: Investing In The Movies Morris Ruskin 2010


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