Definition of gratuitous in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡrəˈtjuːɪtəs/


1Done without good reason; uncalled for: 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.
unjustified, without reason, uncalled for, unwarranted, unprovoked, undue;
indefensible, unjustifiable;
needless, unnecessary, superfluous, redundant, avoidable, inessential, non-essential, unmerited, groundless, ungrounded, causeless, without cause;
senseless, careless, wanton, indiscriminate, unreasoning, brutish;
excessive, immoderate, disproportionate, inordinate;
unfounded, baseless, inappropriate;
French de trop
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.
free, gratis, complimentary, voluntary, volunteer, unpaid, unrewarded, unsalaried, free of charge, without charge, for nothing, at no cost, without payment;
Law  pro bono (publico)
informal for free, on the house
British informal buckshee



Pronunciation: /ɡrəˈtjuːɪtəsnəs/
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.


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

Words that rhyme with gratuitous

circuitous, fortuitous

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: gra¦tuit|ous

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