Also found in: Thesaurus.


tr.v. pam·pered, pam·per·ing, pam·pers
1. To treat with excessive indulgence: pampered their child.
2. To give in to; gratify: He pampered his ambition for wealth and fame.
3. Archaic To indulge with rich food; glut.

[Middle English pamperen, probably of Low German origin.]

pam′per·er n.
Synonyms: pamper, indulge, humor, spoil, coddle, mollycoddle, baby
These verbs all mean to cater excessively to someone or to his or her desires or feelings. To pamper is to gratify appetites, tastes, or desires: "tempting stores of everything to stimulate and pamper the sated appetite and give new relish to the oft-repeated feast" (Charles Dickens).
Indulge suggests a kindly or excessive lenience in yielding especially to wishes or impulses better left unfulfilled: "You mustn't think because I indulge you in some things that you can keep everyone waiting" (Theodore Dreiser).
Humor implies compliance with or accommodation to another's mood or idiosyncrasies: "Human life is ... but like a froward child, that must be played with and humored a little to keep it quiet till it falls asleep" (William Temple).
Spoil implies excessive indulgence that adversely affects the character, nature, or attitude: "My pupil was a lively child, who had been spoiled and indulged, and, therefore, was sometimes wayward" (Charlotte Brontë).
Coddle and mollycoddle point to tender, overprotective care that often leads to weakening of character: "The two or three times a week she was home, she coddled Lisette, painting her toenails and rubbing rose-scented lotion into her legs" (Erin McGraw)."His mother mollycoddled the boy, combed and curled his hair, trimmed and tidied his clothes" (Patrick MacGill).
Baby suggests the indulgence and attention one might give to an infant: "Though he was grown, she still babied him, kept his school pictures taped to her refrigerator, still bought his clothes on sale, still saved money for him" (Louise Erdrich).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pampering - the act of indulging or gratifying a desirepampering - the act of indulging or gratifying a desire
intemperateness, self-indulgence, intemperance - excess in action and immoderate indulgence of bodily appetites, especially in passion or indulgence; "the intemperance of their language"
gratification - the act or an instance of satisfying
overindulgence, excess - excessive indulgence; "the child was spoiled by overindulgence"
binge, splurge - any act of immoderate indulgence; "an orgy of shopping"; "an emotional binge"; "a splurge of spending"
Adj.1.pampering - gratifying tastes, appetites, or desires; "pampering parents often have spoilt children"; "a very pampering cruise experience"
indulgent - characterized by or given to yielding to the wishes of someone ; "indulgent grandparents"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
'Do you remember when, in his inheritance of your nature, and in your pampering of his pride and passion, he did this, and disfigured me for life?
Watson quite agreed with him--he considered nothing was better than bread and butter for growing lads--but some parents, unduly pampering their offspring, insisted on it.
I don't believe in pampering vanity, Anne, I'll tell you that right off.
Should any little accidental disappointment of the appetite occur, such as the spoiling of a meal, the under or the over dressing of a dish, the incident ought not to be neutralised by replacing with something more delicate the comfort lost, thus pampering the body and obviating the aim of this institution; it ought to be improved to the spiritual edification of the pupils, by encouraging them to evince fortitude under temporary privation.
In both conditions, man is an animal that will not bear pampering.
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