[gruh-too-i-tee, -tyoo-]
noun, plural gra·tu·i·ties.
  1. a gift of money, over and above payment due for service, as to a waiter or bellhop; tip.
  2. something given without claim or demand.
  3. British.
    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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gratuities

Historical Examples of gratuities

British Dictionary definitions for gratuities


noun plural -ties
  1. a gift or reward, usually of money, for services rendered; tip
  2. something given without claim or obligation
  3. 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

Word Origin and History for gratuities



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