Definition of indult in US English:



  • (in the Roman Catholic Church) a license granted by the Pope authorizing an act that the common law of the Church does not sanction.

    • ‘This is a concrete gesture in the Pope's own diocese, which reinforces what the Holy Father called for in the 1984 indult and in his 1988 letter Ecclesia Dei Adflicta.’
    • ‘There has been much talk about an impending ‘general indult’ allowing priests worldwide to celebrate the Tridentine Mass.’
    • ‘In 1487, eager to appease France, Pope Innocent VIII granted James III an ‘indult’, giving him the right to prefer to Scottish livings and higher Church posts.’


Late 15th century: from French, from late Latin indultum ‘grant, concession’, neuter past participle of Latin indulgere ‘indulge’.