Definition of indulgence in English:


Line breaks: in|dul|gence
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈdʌldʒ(ə)ns


  • 2chiefly • historical (In the Roman Catholic Church) a grant by the Pope of remission of the temporal punishment in purgatory still due for sins after absolution. The unrestricted sale of indulgences by pardoners was a widespread abuse during the later Middle Ages.
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    • The ‘treasures of the Church,’ out of which the Pope grants indulgences, are not sufficiently named or known among the people of Christ.
    • The practice of granting indulgences - remission of punishment for sins through the intercession of the Church - already had a long history.
    • Most especially Luther disputed the sale of indulgences whereby, as Luther perceived, believers might buy forgiveness for themselves or their departed relatives.
  • 3An extension of the time in which a bill or debt has to be paid: the notice given granted a final indulgence of four weeks
    More example sentences
    • It is merely intended as an indulgence offered by the lender to the borrower.


late Middle English: via Old French from Latin indulgentia, from the verb indulgere (see indulge).

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a small amount; a little