Definition of gratuitous in English:


Syllabification: gra·tu·i·tous
Pronunciation: /ɡrəˈt(y)o͞oədəs


1Uncalled for; lacking good reason; unwarranted: gratuitous violence
More example sentences
  • His death seemed so gratuitous, so uncalled for, that at first I couldn't figure out why it was in the film.
  • Now, the only thing left to talk about is all of the gratuitous violence, which will certainly be a hot topic, no matter how well the film does.
  • Once you've got over all the rampant misogyny and gratuitous, comic-book violence, it's an entertaining night in.
2Given or done free of charge: solicitors provide a form of gratuitous legal advice
More example sentences
  • They were gratuitous volunteers, not bona fide purchasers for value without notice.
  • It was a voluntary and gratuitous offer by the chambers to provide education and training.
  • These licences are essentially gratuitous, since if any charge was made for them, they would be regarded as contractual.


mid 17th century: from Latin gratuitus 'given freely, spontaneous' + -ous.



More example sentences
  • Free speech does not mean having the right gratuitously to offend others, he said.
  • ‘It was bellicose and gratuitously insulting language to the majority of people on this island who want to see a peaceful future,’ he said.
  • Unable to resist, they then gratuitously add this.


More example sentences
  • I love the gratuitousness, the unnecessariness, the blood.
  • But he rejects any charge of gratuitousness, citing a more political, and more personal, reason for their inclusion.
  • What's remarkable about his filmmaking is the ability to present scenes of shocking defilement without a hint of prurience or gratuitousness.

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