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
  1. verb
    yield (to); give satisfaction to
    synonyms: gratify, pander
    see moresee less
    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
  2. verb
    treat with excessive indulgence
    synonyms: baby, cocker, coddle, cosset, featherbed, mollycoddle, pamper, spoil
    see moresee less
    type of:
    do by, handle, treat
    interact in a certain way
  3. verb
    enjoy to excess
    “She indulges in ice cream”
    synonyms: luxuriate
    see moresee less
    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)
  4. verb
    give free rein to
    “The writer indulged in metaphorical language”
    see moresee less
    devote oneself entirely to something; indulge in to an immoderate degree, usually with pleasure
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week