from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Given or granted without return or recompense; unearned.
- adj. Given or received without cost or obligation; free.
- adj. Unnecessary or unwarranted; unjustified: gratuitous criticism.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Given freely; unearned.
- adj. Not called for by the circumstances; uncalled-for; without reason, cause, or proof; adopted or asserted without any good ground; unjustified.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Given without an equivalent or recompense; conferred without valuable consideration; granted without pay, or without claim or merit; not required by justice.
- adj. Not called for by the circumstances; without reason, cause, or proof; adopted or asserted without any good ground.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Freely bestowed or obtained; costing nothing to the recipient.
- Unnecessary; not required; not warranted by circumstances or reason; uncalled for: as, a gratuitous insult.
- Unwarranted, unnecessary, groundless.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. without cause
- adj. costing nothing
- adj. unnecessary and unwarranted
My misery was what I call my gratuitous brain surgery.
Zimbabwe's neighbors to follow the lead of the European Union and condemn what he called the gratuitous and violent actions by Mugabe against his own people.
However, it is still worrying that Scotland Yard used the word 'gratuitous' to describe the Milly Dowler story, trying to say it was not in the public interest.
After all, poor white trash is only useful as cannon fodder in gratuitous wars.
Among stories it described as "gratuitous" – literally, without merit – and not in the public interest was the revelation that the News of the World had hacked into Milly Dowler's voicemail.
She never indulged in gratuitous self-aggrandizing.
The sole non-Japanese entry to this list is a South-Korean scifi spectacular that positively revels in gratuitous depictions of squash-and-stretch violence, sexuality, and bodily functions.
In civilized societies, people act civilized and do not engage in gratuitous insults, which is exactly how Sarkozy and Obama behaved.
Well if a definiton of gratuitous is 'being without apparent reason, cause or justification' then sadly that's exactly what violence is.
The fact that the best you (and your amen corner here) can do is engage in gratuitous name-calling is very instructive.