gratuity

noun
gra·​tu·​i·​ty | \ grə-ˈtü-ə-tē How to pronounce gratuity (audio) , -ˈtyü-\
plural gratuities

Definition of gratuity

: something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service especially : tip added a gratuity for the server

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Synonyms for gratuity

Synonyms

perquisite, tip

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Gratuity vs. Tip

Gratuity is a fancier and more formal word than tip. It occurs most often in written notices along the lines of "Gratuities accepted". Its formality makes it best suited for describing tips of the dignified, expensive variety. For the taxi driver who takes you to the superb Belgian restaurant, it's a tip; for the restaurant's maitre d', it's a gratuity.

Examples of gratuity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And never tip anyone at Changi airport—staff are forbidden from accepting any gratuities. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "The Right Way to Tip All Over the World," 22 May 2019 Many restaurants that put suggested gratuities on customer checks don’t even list 15 percent any more, and some (especially in big cities such as New York) actually go so far as to suggest a 30 percent tip for excellent service. Lisa Cianci, OrlandoSentinel.com, "How much should I tip? 30% is new norm, some say," 19 June 2018 The cost to attend is $140 per guest, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Daily Pilot Staff, latimes.com, "Around Town: Wooden Boat Festival coming to Newport Beach this weekend," 6 June 2019 The Kitchen now does one seating per night of a five-course, $135-per-person dinner (plus gratuity and drinks). Benjy Egel, sacbee, "The Kitchen becomes Sacramento’s first and only Michelin-starred restaurant," 3 June 2019 The gratuities are not currently paid in cash; they are added to credit-card payments for food, beverages, etc. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "A Few Rules for a World of Tipping Just About Everyone," 14 Feb. 2019 Similarly, at Base Coat, 20 percent gratuity is encouraged for all services. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "What No One Tells You About Tipping at the Nail Salon," 12 Dec. 2018 Tickets are $73 (which includes tax, gratuity and a donation to Forgotten Harvest). Detroit Free Press, "Top 10 Takeover: Maty's African Restaurant tickets on sale now," 13 July 2018 Cost to attend is $50 per person, including driver gratuity. Courant Community, "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 24 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gratuity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gratuity

1540, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gratuity

see gratuitous

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Statistics for gratuity

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gratuity

The first known use of gratuity was in 1540

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More Definitions for gratuity

gratuity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gratuity

formal : an amount of money given to a person (such as a waiter or waitress) who has performed a service
British : an amount of money given to a retiring soldier or employee

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More from Merriam-Webster on gratuity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gratuity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gratuity

Spanish Central: Translation of gratuity

Nglish: Translation of gratuity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gratuity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gratuity

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