Indulge is a verb that means "to give in to something," like when you indulge your craving for chocolate by eating a big piece of it.

The original meaning of indulge is "to treat with unearned favor." That's why it doesn't mean the same as reward. Instead, when you indulge, you enjoy or take part in something just because you want to — like indulging in a celebrity gossip magazine: you know you should be doing something more constructive, but you don't care. When you indulge someone else, you go along with whatever they want to do.

Definitions of indulge

v yield (to); give satisfaction to

gratify, pander
humor, humour
put into a good mood
engage without restraint in an activity and indulge, as when shopping
sow one's oats, sow one's wild oats
live promiscuously and self-indulgently
Type of:
cater, ply, provide, supply
give what is desired or needed, especially support, food or sustenance

v treat with excessive indulgence

baby, cocker, coddle, cosset, featherbed, mollycoddle, pamper, spoil
Type of:
do by, handle, treat
interact in a certain way

v enjoy to excess

“She indulges in ice cream”
indulge (one's appetite) to satiety
Type of:
consume, deplete, eat, eat up, exhaust, run through, use up, wipe out
use up (resources or materials)

v give free rein to

“The writer indulged in metaphorical language”
devote oneself entirely to something; indulge in to an immoderate degree, usually with pleasure

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.