adjective gra·tu·itous \grə-ˈtü-ə-təs, -ˈtyü-\

: not necessary or appropriate

Full Definition of GRATUITOUS

a :  given unearned or without recompense
b :  not involving a return benefit, compensation, or consideration
c :  costing nothing :  free
:  not called for by the circumstances :  unwarranted <gratuitous insolence> <a gratuitous assumption>
gra·tu·itous·ly adverb
gra·tu·itous·ness noun

Examples of GRATUITOUS

  1. The film was criticized for its gratuitous violence.
  2. <they will throw in a gratuitous box of chocolates when you spend $30 or more in their shop>


Latin gratuitus, from gratus
First Known Use: 1656

Other Business Terms

amortize, caveat emptor, clearinghouse, divest, due diligence, emolument, green-collar, marque, overhead, perquisite

Rhymes with GRATUITOUS


Next Word in the Dictionary: gratuitous bailmentPrevious Word in the Dictionary: gratuitalAll Words Near: gratuitous
July 28, 2015
pachyderm Hear it
an elephant
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears