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From Latin indulgeō (I indulge).


  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈdʌld͡ʒ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌldʒ


indulge (third-person singular simple present indulges, present participle indulging, simple past and past participle indulged)

  1. (intransitive, often followed by "in"): To yield to a temptation or desire.
    He looked at the chocolate but didn't indulge.
    I indulged in drinking on the weekend.
    • 1950 January, David L. Smith, “A Runaway at Beattock”, in Railway Magazine, page 53:
      Richardson took over, and Mitchell proceeded to the refreshment room in his turn, but when he came back some ten minutes later, it was evident that he had been indulging in something more potent than coffee, and he was in a very muddled state.
    • 2022 January 12, Christian Wolmar, “A new year... but the same old mistakes are being made”, in RAIL, number 948, pages 40–41:
      How can the unions - or more specifically the RMT - possibly think this is a good time to exert a bit of industrial muscle and indulge in strikes both on the national railway and the London Underground?
  2. (transitive) To satisfy the wishes or whims of.
    Grandma indulges the kids with sweets.
    I love to indulge myself with beautiful clothes.
    • August 30, 1706, Francis Atterbury, a sermon preach'd in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, at the funeral of Mr. Tho. Bennet
      Hope in another life implies that we indulge ourselves in the gratifications of this very sparingly.
    • 2013, Jocelyn Samara D., Rain, volume 1, →ISBN, page 193:
      "She constantly faked being sick, and perhaps mistakenly, I indulged her more than I should have, pretending I couldn't tell. But I AM a teacher myself, so it's kind of hard to just let this slide."
    • 2016 February 23, Robbie Collin, “Grimsby review: ' Sacha Baron Cohen's vital, venomous action movie'”, in The Daily Telegraph (London):
      It’s the kind of scenario Peter Sellers might have dreamt up while brushing his teeth, and some of the comic set-pieces – including Nobby’s seduction of a fabulously overweight maid (Gabourey Sidibe) at a luxurious South African hotel – allow Baron Cohen to indulge his Sellersian fantasies to a previously unprecedented degree.
    • 2019 November 21, Samanth Subramanian, “How our home delivery habit reshaped the world”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Internet shopping invites you to gaze out upon the entire bazaar all at once and to indulge the merest whim
  3. To give way to (a habit or temptation); to not oppose or restrain.
    to indulge sloth, pride, selfishness, or inclinations
  4. To grant an extension to the deadline of a payment.
  5. To grant as by favour; to bestow in concession, or in compliance with a wish or request.
    • 1678, Antiquitates Christianæ: Or, the History of the Life and Death of the Holy Jesus: [], London: [] E. Flesher, and R. Norton, for R[ichard] Royston, [], →OCLC:
      persuading us that something must be indulged to public manners
    • 1728, [Alexander Pope], “(please specify the page)”, in The Dunciad. An Heroic Poem. [], Dublin, London: [] A. Dodd, →OCLC:
      Yet, yet a moment, one dim ray of light / Indulge, dread Chaos, and eternal Night!


Related terms[edit]





  • IPA(key): /inˈdul.d͡ʒe/
  • Rhymes: -uldʒe
  • Hyphenation: in‧dùl‧ge



  1. third-person singular present indicative of indulgere




  1. second-person singular present active imperative of indulgeō