[ gruh-too-i-tuhs, -tyoo- ]
See synonyms for gratuitous on
  1. being without apparent reason, cause, or justification: It looks to me like a baseless and gratuitous insult—like you have a huge chip on your shoulder.

  2. given, done, bestowed, or obtained without charge or payment; free; complimentary.

  1. Law. given without receiving any return value.

Origin of gratuitous

First recorded in 1650–60; from Latin grātuītus “free, freely given, spontaneous,” derivative of grātus “thankful, received with thanks” (for formation cf. fortuitous); see -ous

Other words for gratuitous

Other words from gratuitous

  • gra·tu·i·tous·ly, adverb
  • gra·tu·i·tous·ness, noun
  • non·gra·tu·i·tous, adjective
  • non·gra·tu·i·tous·ness, noun
  • un·gra·tu·i·tous, adjective
  • un·gra·tu·i·tous·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with gratuitous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

British Dictionary definitions for gratuitous


/ (ɡrəˈtjuːɪtəs) /

  1. given or received without payment or obligation

  2. without cause; unjustified

  1. law given or made without receiving any value in return: a gratuitous agreement

Origin of gratuitous

C17: from Latin grātuītus, from grātia favour

Derived forms of gratuitous

  • gratuitously, adverb
  • gratuitousness, noun

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