Definitions

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

  • noun Money given as a gratuity; a tip.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Drink-money; a douceur; a “tip.”

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

  • noun a relatively small amount of money given for services rendered (as by a waiter)

Etymologies

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

[French, from pour boire, for drinking : pour, for (from Old French, from Latin prō; see pro–) + boire, to drink (from Old French boivre, from Latin bibere; see beverage).]

Examples

  • He knows the road; his sturdy horse is accustomed to the hills; he takes one for three francs an hour -- about half what is charged at Saratoga or Sharon or Richfield; he expects a few cents as pourboire, that is all.

    Manners and Social Usages

  • After that, we came back to the Barriere de l'Etoile, where she gave me a good 'pourboire' and got into a hackney coach, telling me to take the travelling carriage back to the man who lets such carriages in the Cour des Coches, Faubourg Saint-Honore. "

    The Lesser Bourgeoisie

  • It would be interesting to hear how these individuals squared Sir Fred's pourboire with the commitment they gave to RBS shareholders in the remuneration report to ensure that rewards would "be earned through achievement of demanding performance targets based on measures consistent with shareholder interests." ...

    How the taxpayer can get Sir Fred Goodwin's pension back

  • Some concessions would have to be made to Hitler, and Mussolini would expect a little pourboire for his own helpful behavior,49 but this could be accomplished by some horse-trading among colonies.

    BARGAINING WITH THE DEVIL

  • Some concessions would have to be made to Hitler, and Mussolini would expect a little pourboire for his own helpful behavior,49 but this could be accomplished by some horse-trading among colonies.

    BARGAINING WITH THE DEVIL

  • Most people with any sense of propriety whatsoever would think that his acceptance of this immodest pourboire for services rendered would immediately preclude him from holding the office of President of the EU Council on the basis that the conflict of interest would be plain as a pikestaff to all and sundry.

    Blair's Thirty Pieces Of Silver?

  • Most people with any sense of propriety whatsoever would think that his acceptance of this immodest pourboire for services rendered would immediately preclude him from holding the office of President of the EU Council on the basis that the conflict of interest would be plain as a pikestaff to all and sundry.

    Archive 2008-01-06

  • Some concessions would have to be made to Hitler, and Mussolini would expect a little pourboire for his own helpful behavior,49 but this could be accomplished by some horse-trading among colonies.

    BARGAINING WITH THE DEVIL

  • He had thought that this next six months would see France once more in its rightful place as the natural leader of Europe, handing out this fatcat job here, this little pourboire there, accepting the plaudits from a grateful Eurcracy and European political elite for a job well and truly done.

    Sarkozy Puts On The Bovver Boots

  • He had thought that this next six months would see France once more in its rightful place as the natural leader of Europe, handing out this fatcat job here, this little pourboire there, accepting the plaudits from a grateful Eurcracy and European political elite for a job well and truly done.

    Archive 2008-06-29

Comments

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  • Also see drink-money, tip, gratuity, douceur.

    December 6, 2010

  • "As errand boy to his grandmother's eel business, he occasionally received pourboires from the customers, a source of money now cut off."

    Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin, p 119 of the Berkley paperback edition

    February 27, 2012

  • You must leave a tip if you’d be a mensch,

    But "gratuity" has a vulgar stench.

    "Lagniappe" is preferred

    Or "pourboire" is the word.

    Like escargot - it's better in French.

    February 21, 2014