1. To be complacent toward; to give way to; not to oppose or restrain; when said of a habit, desire, etc., to give free course to; to give one’s self up to; as, to indulge sloth, pride, selfishness, or inclinations; when said of a person: to yield to the desire of; to gratify by compliance; to humor; to withhold restraint from; as, to indulge children in their caprices or willfulness; to indulge one’s self with a rest or in pleasure. Hope in another life implies that we indulge ourselves in the gratifications of this very sparingly. (Atterbury)
2. To grant as by favor; to bestow in concession, or in compliance with a wish or request. Persuading us that something must be indulged to public manners. (Jer. Taylor) Yet, yet a moment, one dim ray of light indulge, dread chaos, and eternal Night! (Pope)
It is remarked by Johnson, that if the matter of indulgence is a single thing, it has with before it; if it is a habit, it has in; as, he indulged himself with a glass of wine or a new book; he indulges himself in idleness or intemperance. See Gratify.
Origin: L. Indulgere to be kind or tender to one; cf. OIr. Dilgud, equiv. To L. Remissio, OIr. Dligeth, equiv. To L. Lex, goth. Dulgs debt.