Definition of indulge in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈdəlj/


[no object] (indulge in)
1Allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure of: we indulged in some hot fudge sundaes
More example sentences
  • Their inability to retain possession allowed Rangers to indulge in the passing game they enjoy.
  • I've been enjoying the competition, indulging in brief and largely meaningless intensities of feeling.
  • I will be the only person to know that beneath my business attire, I am indulging in a secret pleasure.
wallow in, give oneself up to, give way to, yield to, abandon oneself to, give free rein to;
luxuriate in, revel in, lose oneself in
1.1Become involved in (an activity, typically one that is undesirable or disapproved of): I don’t indulge in idle gossip
More example sentences
  • The organisations indulging in this sinister activity have had a free play as never before in the history of free India.
  • Firstly, we should not allow ourselves to indulge in hype about the consequences of the disease.
  • By allowing yourself to indulge in these fears, he is already making your life hell.
1.2 informal Allow oneself to enjoy a particular pleasure, especially that of alcohol: I only indulge on special occasions
More example sentences
  • Louis didn't much care for alcohol and only usually indulged on special occasions.
  • You may indulge and enjoy some forbidden pleasures but cannot deceive yourself for long.
  • It's difficult to let go of those inhibitions because they feel guilty about indulging too heartily or allowing themselves too much pleasure.
treat oneself, give oneself a treat;
go on a spree
informal go to town, splurge
1.3 [with object] Satisfy or yield freely to (a desire or interest): she was able to indulge a growing passion for literature
More example sentences
  • Jean has been able to indulge her interest in art and nature, wellness, writing, reading, swimming, and walking.
  • When I took the reins, I was able to indulge my own interest in history and start doing research.
  • But for the most part, Mann is amazed that he is still able to indulge his interests for a living.
satisfy, gratify, fulfill, feed, accommodate;
yield to, give in to, give way to
1.4 [with object] Allow (someone) to enjoy a desired pleasure: I spent time indulging myself with secret feasts
More example sentences
  • My maker indulged me in this little secret while I was still young and I used it wisely.
  • Kris grunted, ‘Well why don't you tell me about your past and perhaps I'll indulge you with my deep dark secrets.’
  • Does she feel rather dashing, a bona fide member of someone else's generation, or is she merely indulging her younger and stupider staff?
pamper, spoil, overindulge, coddle, mollycoddle, cosset, baby, spoon-feed, pander to, wait on hand and foot, cater to someone's every whim, kill with kindness



Pronunciation: /inˈdəljər/
Example sentences
  • How in the hell do you teach a big happy dog to be subtle and keep herself and her indulger out of trouble?
  • Servers give indulgers a 16-oz. glass and patrons make the drinks themselves for $7.50, with an extra $3 charge for an oyster.
  • Savor the island's epicurean treats at the Swizzle Inn, where indulgers have been said to swagger out.


Early 17th century (in the sense 'treat with excessive kindness'): from Latin indulgere 'give free rein to'.

Words that rhyme with indulge

bulge, divulge, promulge

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·dulge

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