a. The action or an instance of indulging: the indulgence of a hunch; a teenager's indulgence in tobacco.
b. The state of being indulgent; tolerance: treated their grandchildren with fond indulgence.
c. Something indulged in: Sports cars are an expensive indulgence.
2. Self-indulgence: a life of wealth and indulgence.
3. An extension of time for the payment of a debt or the performance of a duty.
4. Roman Catholic Church A remission of punishment still due, especially in purgatory, for a sin that has been sacramentally absolved.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.