An indulgence is doing something that you enjoy even if it has negative consequences. Buying yourself something that you don't need, be it a cookie, video game, or diamond necklace, is an indulgence.

If you allow yourself to eat more chocolate cake or watch more TV than is really good for you, those are your little indulgences. If you spend your life savings on a trip to Tahiti, that’s a huge indulgence. If someone says to you, "Grant me this indulgence," prepare for a long-winded story that tries to convince you of something. Long, long ago the Catholic Church sold something called "indulgences": pardons for sins.

Primary Meanings of indulgence

the act of indulging or gratifying a desire
the remission by the pope of the temporal punishment in purgatory that is still due for sins even after absolution
Full Definitions of indulgence

n the act of indulging or gratifying a desire

humoring, indulging, pampering
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intemperance, intemperateness, self-indulgence
excess in action and immoderate indulgence of bodily appetites, especially in passion or indulgence
excess, overindulgence
excessive indulgence
binge, orgy, splurge
any act of immoderate indulgence
fling, spree
a brief indulgence of your impulses
dissipation, dissolution, licentiousness, looseness, profligacy
dissolute indulgence in sensual pleasure
a bout of drinking or drug taking
Type of:
the act or an instance of satisfying

n an inability to resist the gratification of whims and desires

something that is an indulgence rather than a necessity
Type of:
indiscipline, undiscipline
the trait of lacking discipline

n a disposition to yield to the wishes of someone

“too much indulgence spoils a child”
lenience, leniency
a disposition to be lenient in judging others
Type of:
permissiveness, tolerance
a disposition to allow freedom of choice and behavior

n foolish or senseless behavior

craziness, folly, foolery, lunacy, tomfoolery
meshugaas, mishegaas, mishegoss
(Yiddish) craziness; senseless behavior or activity
buffoonery, clowning, frivolity, harlequinade, japery, prank
acting like a clown or buffoon
schtick, schtik, shtick, shtik
(Yiddish) a prank or piece of clowning
Type of:
caper, frolic, gambol, play, romp
gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement

n the remission by the pope of the temporal punishment in purgatory that is still due for sins even after absolution

“in the Middle Ages the unrestricted sale of indulgences by pardoners became a widespread abuse”
Type of:
absolution, remission, remission of sin, remittal
the act of absolving or remitting; formal redemption as pronounced by a priest in the sacrament of penance

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