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gratuitous

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

Simple Definition of gratuitous

  • : not necessary or appropriate

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of gratuitous

  1. 1 a :  given unearned or without recompense b :  not involving a return benefit, compensation, or consideration c :  costing nothing :  free

  2. 2 :  not called for by the circumstances :  unwarranted <gratuitous insolence> <a gratuitous assumption>

gratuitously adverb
gratuitousness noun

Examples of gratuitous in a sentence

  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>



Did You Know?

Like gratitude, grace, and congratulate, gratuitous is a descendant of the Latin word gratus, which means "pleasing" or "grateful." When gratuitous was first used in the middle of the 17th century, it meant "free" or "given without return benefit or compensation." The extended meaning "done without good reason" or "unwarranted" came about just a few decades later, perhaps from the belief held by some people that one should not give something without getting something in return. Today, that extended meaning is the more common sense, often used in such phrases as "a gratuitous insult" or to describe elements of a story that are not relevant to the plot.

Origin of gratuitous

Latin gratuitus, from gratus


First Known Use: 1656

Rhymes with gratuitous


Law Dictionary

gratuitous

play
adjective gra·tu·i·tous \grə-ˈtü-ə-təs, -ˈtyü-\

Legal Definition of gratuitous

  1. :  not involving a return benefit, compensation, or consideration — compare onerous

gratuitously adverb




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