Someone who is self-indulgent gives themselves a lot of treats. Parents who are indulgent cave to every desire their child expresses. Indulgent means lenient, or overly generous.

Indulgent is a word that, here in Puritanical North America, is hard to know how to take. Is it okay to “indulge yourself” as so many spa advertisements suggest? Or is indulgent always associated with excess? You can indulge fantasies of figuring out the answer, or you can give in to an indulgent shrug and move on to another word.

Definitions of indulgent

adj characterized by or given to yielding to the wishes of someone

indulgent grandparents”
given to excess in consumption of especially food or drink
decadent, effete
marked by excessive self-indulgence and moral decay
betting, card-playing, dissipated, sporting
preoccupied with the pursuit of pleasure and especially games of chance
epicurean, luxuriant, luxurious, sybaritic, voluptuary, voluptuous
displaying luxury and furnishing gratification to the senses
given to social pleasures often including dissipation
epicurean, hedonic, hedonistic
devoted to pleasure
hard, heavy, intemperate
given to excessive indulgence of bodily appetites especially for intoxicating liquors
excessively indulgent
gratifying tastes, appetites, or desires
indulgent of your own appetites and desires
nonindulgent, strict
characterized by strictness, severity, or restraint
sparing in consumption of especially food and drink
austere, stern
of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in aspect
blue, puritanic, puritanical
morally rigorous and strict
corrective, disciplinal, disciplinary
designed to promote discipline
befitting a monk; inclined to self-denial
renunciant, renunciative, self-abnegating, self-denying
used especially of behavior
self-disciplined, self-restraining
used of nonindulgent persons
severe, spartan
unsparing and uncompromising in discipline or judgment
show more antonyms...

adj tolerant or lenient

indulgent parents risk spoiling their children”
lenient, soft
granting or inclined or able to grant permission; not strict in discipline

adj being favorably inclined

“an indulgent attitude”
favorable, favourable
encouraging or approving or pleasing

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