A person can indulge in something. Is he therefore an indulger of something or an indulger in something? Are both okay?

If both are okay, is there any difference between these two phrases or are their meanings exactly the same?

3 Answers 3


I’ve never seen either of those used. Logically, it would be in, but I’ve never seen that form. The Corpus of Contemporary American English is of the same opinion, and further points out that indulger is not widely used at all (and mostly by itself: “he was an indulger”).

  • I want to use the phrase in a humourous and quasi pretentious way. It's a bonus if it's not widely used or even strained as long as it is valid. :)
    – darius
    Jan 29, 2011 at 14:08
  • @darius then go for the logical construct: “an indulger in sugar”
    – F'x
    Jan 29, 2011 at 14:09
  • Problem is 'indulger of' fits better the way I want to use it. I want to know if it's completely off the track.
    – darius
    Jan 29, 2011 at 14:11

The Corpus of Contemporary American English contains the following sentence:

Was Jackson an indulger in and practitioner of nostalgia?

The sentence is used only in academic context, though, with a frequency of 0.01 per million.

Looking for indulger for doesn't return any result.


Indulge in means you yourself indulge; indulge of means you allow or enable indulgence in others.

I indulge in chocolate. I am indulgent of my daughters' appetite for clothing.

I don't think "indulger" is a real word.

  • Indulger is a word reported from the dictionaries (and not as example of a not existing word).
    – apaderno
    Jan 29, 2011 at 17:31
  • You can make most verbs into nouns by adding -er, but that doesn't mean anyone else will use that word. "Indulger" only gets 66,000 hits on Google; c.f. 331,000 for "syzygy" (a technical word in astronomy, almost unknown among the general public), 122,000 "fahgettaboudit" (a phonetic rendering of "forget about it"), and 30,500 for "mofga" (a nonsense word I just made up -- admittedly, many of the hits were for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) Jan 29, 2011 at 21:50

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