The Meaning of Indulge: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever been confused by the definition of indulge? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word indulge, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

What does the word indulge mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, the word indulge is a verb that means to allow, to humor (UK equiv.: humour) or yield to someone or provide stisfaction, often to an immoderate degree, or to provide excessive care or undue favor to someone, sometimes with injurious effects. This inordinate gratification of desire or excessive compliance can also be shown in the related forms the adjective indulgent and the noun indulgence as well as to make the past participle and present participle forms. Indulge is two syllables – in-dulge, abd the pronunciation of indulge is Ɪnˈdʌldʒ.

There are many different languages that use words that mean indulge. You may notice that sometimes different languages have words that are very close to English words or to words of other languages. This is usually because the words share a root or origin. Often, cognates, which are words that look, sound, and mean something similar across languages, are formed when words share an origin. This list of translations for the word indulge is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Mandarin: 放縱‎, 放纵‎ (fàngzòng), 放任‎ (fàngrèn), 姑息‎ (gūxī), 寬縱‎, 宽纵‎ (kuānzòng)
  •  Turkish: memnun etmek‎, şımartmak‎
  •  Maori: whakapuhi‎, whakawaireka‎
  •  Portuguese: mimar‎
  •  Galician: consentir‎, permitir‎
  •  Czech: uspokojit‎ (pf)
  •  Japanese: 甘やかす‎ (あまやかす, amayakasu)
  •  Finnish: hemmotella‎
  •  Greek: του κάνω όλα τα χατήρια‎, κακομαθαίνω‎, καλομαθαίνω‎
  •  German: frönen‎, hätscheln‎, verwöhnen‎
  •  Hungarian: elkényeztet‎
  •  Spanish: mimar‎, consentir‎
  •  Russian: потака́ть‎, потво́рствовать‎, балова́ть‎, попусти́тельствовать‎, ублажа́ть‎
  •  Hebrew: סיפק‎ (sipék)
  •  Dutch: in de watten leggen‎, verwennen‎, koesteren‎
  •  French: dorloter‎, gâter‎, choyer‎
  •  Esperanto: cedi al‎

What is the origin of indulge?

According to Etymonline, the word indulge comes from the Latin indulgēre. The Latin word indulgēre is also related to the Latin dulgēre and Greek dolikhos.

What are synonyms and antonyms of indulge?

There are a variety of different words that one can use in place of the word indulge. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same or a similar meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to expand your vocabulary as well as if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word indulge is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  let go
  •  coddling
  •  luxuriate
  •  pamper
  •  featherbedding
  •  get tanked up
  •  please
  •  be overbearing
  •  drink alcohol
  •  satisfy
  •  give in to
  •  restraint
  •  pampering
  •  serve
  •  mollycoddle
  •  assuage
  •  featherbed
  •  permit
  •  feather bed
  •  free reign
  •  relieve
  •  cocker
  •  spoiled
  •  quench
  •  humor
  •  give way to
  •  delight
  •  enjoy
  •  feed
  •  meet
  •  humored
  •  rollick
  •  hear of
  •  babied
  •  entertain
  •  yield
  •  assist
  •  slake
  •  condone
  •  gladden
  •  indulge in
  •  compliance
  •  sate
  •  yield to
  •  be game for
  •  regale
  •  cater
  •  overlook
  •  gratify
  •  cosset
  •  revel in
  •  bask
  •  excuse
  •  pet
  •  humour
  •  cosseting
  •  solicitude
  •  caprices
  •  kill with kindness
  •  satiate
  •  hit the bottle
  •  pampered
  •  comfort
  •  baby
  •  booze
  •  appease
  •  tolerate
  •  codle
  •  allow
  •  forgive
  •  accommodate
  •  concession
  •  overindulge
  •  boost
  •  mollify
  •  tipple
  •  spoils
  •  pander
  •  wallow
  •  amuse
  •  drink
  •  oblige
  •  spoiling
  •  wink at
  •  put up with
  •  revel
  •  placate
  •  suffer
  •  pampers
  •  tickle
  •  love
  •  favor
  •  cater to
  •  help
  •  spoil
  •  spoon-feed
  •  gratification
  •  gratifying
  •  pander to
  •  mother
  •  content
  •  coddle
  •  fulfill
  •  carouse
  •  dote on
  •  wallow in
  •  babying

There are also numerous words and phrases that are antonyms for the word indulge. Antonyms are words and phrases that have the opposite meaning as another word or phrase. Opposite words are helpful to know if you are trying to expand your knowledge of the English language. This list of antonyms is provided by Power Thesaurus as well.

  •  maltreat
  •  dispirit
  •  depress
  •  give it to someone
  •  torment
  •  disquiet
  •  ail
  •  make unhappy
  •  check
  •  discompose
  •  mistreat
  •  unnerve
  •  break someone’s heart
  •  give someone the blues
  •  grieve
  •  torture
  •  correct
  •  demoralize
  •  deny
  •  censure for
  •  oppress
  •  dash someone’s hopes
  •  perturb
  •  cast down
  •  dishearten
  •  condemn for
  •  disturb
  •  constrain
  •  haunt
  •  bring tears to someone’s eyes
  •  agitate
  •  drive someone up a wall
  •  chasten
  •  bother
  •  get someone’s goat
  •  sadden
  •  come down on like a ton of bricks
  •  drop on
  •  get someone’s back up
  •  make someone fed up
  •  shake
  •  make gloomy
  •  drive someone up the wall
  •  chastened
  •  deject
  •  counteract
  •  knock the stuffing out of
  •  dismay
  •  harrow
  •  daunt
  •  weigh down
  •  find guilty of
  •  forbear
  •  make sad
  •  make someone’s heart bleed
  •  criticize for
  •  exercise
  •  concern
  •  bring someone to book
  •  deprive
  •  come down on
  •  weigh heavily on
  •  dampen someone’s spirits
  •  burden
  •  distress
  •  accuse of
  •  hurt
  •  discipline
  •  abstain
  •  neglect
  •  break someone’s spirit
  •  hang over
  •  knock sideways
  •  get someone’s dander up
  •  consider guilty of
  •  trouble
  •  worry
  •  upset
  •  bully
  •  afflict
  •  undo
  •  crush
  •  discomfort
  •  assign guilt to
  •  forgo
  •  disappoint
  •  discourage
  •  chastise
  •  give someone what for
  •  make despondent
  •  dash
  •  unsettle
  •  unhinge
  •  desolate
  •  get down
  •  cause suffering to
  •  curb
  •  knock for six
  •  assign fault to
  •  make desolate

How can the word indulge be used in a sentence?

The word indulge can be used in many different sentences in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try making quizzes for yourself or testing yourself with flashcards. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are several examples of indulge.

The grandparents indulged their grand kid’s own desires and inclinations. One of them spent hours giving grandma an Olympics quiz on her Olympics knowledge of every gold medal that has been awarded in the last ten years while the other talked about dinosaurs for hours yesterday in the big yard.

She decided to indulge for her birthday – reckless spending, unbelievable shopping sprees, and a new habit of giving into temptation. She bought goth clothes and ate rich dessert. Her birthday was all about comfort.

The debtor decided to inndulge the excess extension of time for the deadline of a payment in the holiday spirit.

He decided to indulge in an alcoholic drink at the excellent place to lift the person’s moods. With satiety, sustenance, and public manners, what was the harm?

The foolish parents indulged their child’s sloth and selfishness. This outrageous behavior led to hours on Twitter and Facebook when he would wallow over the curiosity of his ex-girlfriend’s’ new man.

Overall, the word indulge means to allow or humor. This word is of Latin origin.


  1. Indulge definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. indulge: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. Indulge Synonyms | Power Thesaurus
  4. Indulge antonyms – 811 Opposites of Indulge | Power Thesaurus 
  5. indulge | Origin and meaning of indulge | Online Etymology Dictionary