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From Middle French indulgence, or its source, Latin indulgentia.


  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈdʌld͡ʒəns/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: in‧dul‧gence


indulgence (countable and uncountable, plural indulgences)

  1. the act of indulging
    • Hammond
      They err, that through indulgence to others, or fondness to any sin in themselves, substitute for repentance anything less.
  2. tolerance
  3. catering to someone's every desire
  4. something in which someone indulges
  5. An indulgent act; favour granted; gratification.
    • Rogers
      If all these gracious indulgences are without any effect on us, we must perish in our own folly.
  6. (Roman Catholicism) A pardon or release from the expectation of punishment in purgatory, after the sinner has been granted absolution.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 555:
      To understand how indulgences were intended to work depends on linking together a number of assumptions about sin and the afterlife, each of which individually makes considerable sense.

Related termsEdit



indulgence (third-person singular simple present indulgences, present participle indulgencing, simple past and past participle indulgenced)

  1. (transitive) (Roman Catholic Church) to provide with an indulgence