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


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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 Live Rooms will have the same gratuity mechanism, an important consideration for creators concentrating on turning their social media fame into a payday—and wondering which app offers the best path toward getting paid. Abram Brown, Forbes, "Instagram Adds New Group Livestream Feature Amid Growing Pressure From Clubhouse," 1 Mar. 2021 Bartolotta Restaurants: Pricing is per person, plus tax and gratuity, unless stated otherwise. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What’s going on in southeastern Wisconsin area this winter," 30 Dec. 2020 ICE Package: $85/person + $15 gratuity and tax includes ICEBAR entry (excluding 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.), open Premium Bar, Champagne Bar and Midnight Buffet, favors and souvenirs (same as VIP). Amy Drew Thompson,, "Ring in 2021 with a bang & a bite," 23 Dec. 2020 The chef and owner said each person received $200 with the gratuity split between his 28 employees. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Guest leaves $5,600 tip for Ohio restaurant staff — just in time for the holidays," 20 Dec. 2020 Price is $32 per person for adults, $25 per person for kids (plus tax and gratuity). Maria Shine Stewart, cleveland, "Holding and folding your favorite holiday things: Sun Messages," 30 Nov. 2020 Under the old policy, the larger the gratuity, the less DoorDash chipped in to cover the base amount. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "DoorDash to pay $2.5 million for allegedly misusing worker tips," 24 Nov. 2020 There is a $175 food and beverage minimum and a 20% gratuity charge. Eddie Morales, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cedarburg's Brandywine restaurant debuts heated domes for outdoor seating," 17 Nov. 2020 The offer is only good for dine-in, and beverage and gratuity aren't included. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Veterans served to protect our country. Here's where they can get served with deals and freebies today," 11 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for gratuity

Time Traveler

The first known use of gratuity was in 1540

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Statistics for gratuity

Last Updated

6 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gratuity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for gratuity



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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Comments on gratuity

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