Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Given or granted without return or recompense; unearned.
  • adjective Given or received without cost or obligation; free.
  • adjective Unnecessary or unwarranted; unjustified.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Freely bestowed or obtained; costing nothing to the recipient.
  • Unnecessary; not required; not warranted by circumstances or reason; uncalled for: as, a gratuitous insult.
  • Unwarranted, unnecessary, groundless.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Given without an equivalent or recompense; conferred without valuable consideration; granted without pay, or without claim or merit; not required by justice.
  • adjective Not called for by the circumstances; without reason, cause, or proof; adopted or asserted without any good ground.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Given freely; unearned.
  • adjective Not called for by the circumstances; uncalled-for; without reason, cause, or proof; adopted or asserted without any good ground; unjustified.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective without cause
  • adjective costing nothing
  • adjective unnecessary and unwarranted

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Latin grātuītus; see gwerə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin gratuitus ("free"), from Latin gratia ("favor"), gratus ("showing favor")

Examples

Comments

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  • "I'm going to agree with the pornification point. It takes me out of the show. I become aware of the set, and start thinking about how gratuitous it is. It's so posed and unnatural that it's more cringeworthy than titillating."

    Source: What are some criticisms of Game of Thrones?

    January 22, 2018