Etymology
Advertisement
indulgence (n.)
mid-14c., in the Church sense, "a freeing from temporal punishment for sin, remission from punishment for sin that remains due after absolution," from Old French indulgence or directly from Latin indulgentia "complaisance, a yielding; fondness, tenderness, affection; remission," from indulgentem (nominative indulgens) "indulgent, kind, tender, fond," present participle of indulgere "be kind; yield, concede, be complaisant; give oneself up to, be addicted," a word of uncertain origin. It is evidently a compound, and the second element appears to be from PIE root *dlegh- "to engage oneself, be or become fixed." The first element could be in- "in" for a sense of "let someone be engaged" in something, or in- "not" for a total sense of "not be hard toward" someone.

Sense of "leniency, forbearance of restraint or control of another, gratification of desire or humor" is attested from late 14c. That of "yielding to one's inclinations" (technically self-indulgence) in English is from 1630s. In British history, Indulgence also refers to grants of certain liberties to Nonconformists under Charles II and James II, as special favors rather than legal rights. The sale of indulgences in the original Church sense was done at times merely to raise money and was widely considered corrupt; the one in 1517 helped to spark the Protestant revolt in Germany.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
overindulgence (n.)

also over-indulgence, "excessive indulgence," 1630s, from over- + indulgence. First attested in Donne (over-indulgency). Related: Overindulgent.

Related entries & more 
indulgent (adj.)
"lenient, willing to overlook faults," often in a bad sense, "too lenient," c. 1500, from Latin indulgentem (nominative indulgens) "kind, tender, fond," present participle of indulgere "be kind, be complaisant, yield" (see indulgence). Related: Indulgently.
Related entries & more 
indulge (v.)
formerly also endulge, 1630s, "to grant as a favor;" 1650s, "to treat with unearned favor" (in reference both to persons and desires), a back-formation from indulgence (q.v.), or directly from Latin indulgere "be complaisant, be indulgent, yield; give oneself up to." Related: Indulged; indulging; indulgingly.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
*dlegh- 
Proto-Indo-European root found in Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, and possibly Latin, meaning "to engage oneself, be or become fixed."

It forms all or part of: indulge; indulgence; play; pledge; plight (v.) "to pledge;" replevin.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit drmha-, drhya- "to fix, make firm;" Old Avestan derez- "fetter;" Gaulish delgu "to hold," Middle Welsh dala "to hold," Old Breton delgim "to hold;" Old Saxon plegan "vouch for," Gothic tulgjan "to fasten."
Related entries & more 
gambling (n.)
1784, "habitual indulgence in gambling," verbal noun from gamble (v.). Gambling-house attested by 1794.
Related entries & more 
jaded (adj.)
"bored by continual indulgence," 1630s; past-participle adjective from jade (v.). Related: Jadedly; jadedness.
Related entries & more 
petting (n.)

1873, "fondling, indulgence," verbal noun from pet (v.). Meaning "amorous caressing, foreplay" is from 1920 (in F. Scott Fitzgerald).

Related entries & more 
sensualism (n.)
1803, "the philosophical doctrine that the senses are the sole source of knowledge," from sensual + -ism. From 1813 as "addiction to sensual indulgence."
Related entries & more