[ gruh-too-i-tuhs-lee, -tyoo- ]


  1. without apparent reason, cause, or justification:

    The chase scene seems gratuitously thrown in for the sake of an action sequence.

  2. without charge or payment; freely or voluntarily:

    Love is a spontaneous gift that cannot be earned—it is gratuitously given.

  3. Law. without receiving any return value:

    The plaintiff must show that they will be forced to either hire someone to perform such household services or have someone perform them gratuitously.

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Other Words From

  • non·gra·tu·i·tous·ly adverb
  • un·gra·tu·i·tous·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

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Example Sentences

Only violent posts that appear “gratuitous and presented to threaten only” are prohibited.

From Fortune

Then there is his infuriating penchant for gratuitously offering compromises before a policy debate has even begun.

If he carries these gratuitously his obligation is still less, nevertheless he must even then take some care of them.

Not that the others are without their attractions, though one is rather gratuitously revolting.

Let us thank the good souls who give it gratuitously, and let us pray God to extend His benedictions upon this useful reading.

Other blank forms of complaint are gratuitously supplied at every post-office.

Books filled up will be exchanged gratuitously, for a spoilt book, however, the sum of 10 kreutzers is to be added to the request.





gratuitous contractgratuity