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[gruh-too-i-tee, -tyoo-] /grəˈtu ɪ ti, -ˈtyu-/
noun, plural gratuities.
a gift of money, over and above payment due for service, as to a waiter or bellhop; tip.
something given without claim or demand.
  1. a bonus granted to war veterans by the government.
  2. a bonus given military personnel on discharge or retirement.
Origin of gratuity
1515-25; < Middle French gratuite, equivalent to Latin grātuī(tus) free + Middle French -te -ty2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gratuity
Historical Examples
  • Romney was obliged to be content with a gratuity of twenty-five guineas.

    Art in England

    Dutton Cook
  • They are strictly forbidden to receive any fee or gratuity from the passengers.

    Rollo in London Jacob Abbott
  • A gratuity of a month's pay was offered to them, and was by most of them accepted.

  • But it took a real man to make the gratuity appear as a favor to the donor.

    El Diablo Brayton Norton
  • How dare he suppose that I would for a moment accept a gratuity!

    Her Ladyship's Elephant David Dwight Wells
  • The matter of a gratuity to the girl weighed on Sylvia Thorne's mind.

    Duffels Edward Eggleston
  • She had a sense of a debt in owing her a gratuity, if one may so speak.

    Duffels Edward Eggleston
  • He recommended that a gratuity should be given them to undertake some manufacture.

  • The post of Chouamigon was given to him as gratuity to defray expenses.

  • He might, but I can tell you how to know whether he will take the gratuity or not.

    Nasby in Exile David R. Locke
British Dictionary definitions for gratuity


noun (pl) -ties
a gift or reward, usually of money, for services rendered; tip
something given without claim or obligation
(military) a financial award granted for long or meritorious service
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gratuity

1520s, "graciousness," from French gratuité (14c.) or directly from Medieval Latin gratuitatem (nominative gratuitas) "free gift," probably from Latin gratuitus "free, freely given" (see gratuitous). Meaning "money given for favor or services" is first attested 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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