See more synonyms for indulge on
verb (used without object), in·dulged, in·dulg·ing.
  1. to yield to an inclination or desire; allow oneself to follow one's will (often followed by in): Dessert came, but I didn't indulge. They indulged in unbelievable shopping sprees.
verb (used with object), in·dulged, in·dulg·ing.
  1. to yield to, satisfy, or gratify (desires, feelings, etc.): to indulge one's appetite for sweets.
  2. to yield to the wishes or whims of; be lenient or permissive with: to indulge a child.
  3. to allow (oneself) to follow one's will (usually followed by in): to indulge oneself in reckless spending.
  4. Commerce. to grant an extension of time, for payment or performance, to (a person, company, etc.) or on (a bill, note, etc.).

Origin of indulge

First recorded in 1630–40, indulge is from the Latin word indulgēre to be lenient (toward), accede, take pleasure (in)
Related formsin·dulg·er, nounin·dulg·ing·ly, adverbpre·in·dulge, verb (used with object), pre·in·dulged, pre·in·dulg·ing.qua·si-in·dulged, adjectivere·in·dulge, verb, re·in·dulged, re·in·dulg·ing.un·in·dulged, adjectiveun·in·dulg·ing, adjective

Synonyms for indulge

See more synonyms for on
3. pamper, favor. See humor. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indulging

Contemporary Examples of indulging

Historical Examples of indulging

  • He had been indulging in the vain pleasure of putting two and two together.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • The nobles form a class by themselves, indulging in all sorts of vices.'

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Partly he is indulging his humour by describing others who were more astray than he was.


    James Anthony Froude

  • This kept him, he said, from indulging in his own bad thoughts.

  • That Mrs. Van Hook, who sits near me at table, was indulging in—what do you call them?

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for indulging


  1. (when intr, often foll by in) to yield to or gratify (a whim or desire for)to indulge a desire for new clothes; to indulge in new clothes
  2. (tr) to yield to the wishes of; pamperto indulge a child
  3. (tr) to allow oneself the pleasure of somethingat Christmas he liked to indulge himself
  4. (tr) commerce to allow (a debtor) an extension of time for payment of (a bill, etc)
  5. (intr) informal to take alcoholic drink, esp to excess
Derived Formsindulger, nounindulgingly, adverb

Word Origin for indulge

C17: from Latin indulgēre to concede, from -dulgēre, probably related to Greek dolikhos long, Gothic tulgus firm
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for indulging



1630s, "to grant as a favor;" 1650s, of both persons and desires, "to treat with unearned favor;" a back-formation from indulgence, or else from Latin indulgere "to be complaisant." Related: Indulged; indulging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper