gra·tu·i·tous [gruh-too-i-tuhs, -tyoo-]
1. given, done, bestowed, or obtained without charge or payment; free; voluntary.
2. being without apparent reason, cause, or justification: a gratuitous insult.
3. Law. given without receiving any return value.
Can be confused: gracious, gratis
spontaneous, unwarranted, baseless, wanton, needless, unjustified, groundless, superfluous, unfounded, unprovoked, complimentary, gratis, unpaid, voluntary, willing, chargeless, costless, assumed, bottomless, indefensible
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. unnecessary, superfluous, redundant; causeless, unreasonable, groundless, unprovoked, unjustified.
Origin: 1650–60; < Latin gratuitus free, freely given, spontaneous, derivative of gratus thankful, received with thanks (for formation cf. fortuitous); see -ous
EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR GRATUITOUS
And, in a gratuitous show of homicidal prowess, Moses kills two assassins he meets while wandering in the desert of Sinai.
MEET MOSES THE SWASHBUCKLING ISRAELITE|JAMES ROMM|DECEMBER 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But God forbid a TV series premieres pushing out gratuitous emotion and gratuitous feeling.
‘RED BAND SOCIETY’ IS REALLY FREAKING SAD (AND MAY BE TV’S BEST NEW DRAMA)|KEVIN FALLON|SEPTEMBER 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The Israeli soldiers, my age, sat impassively on a bench while babies cried and a man complained about gratuitous humiliation.
GAZA, YOU'RE NO GOOD FOR MY MARRIAGE|JOSH ROBIN|AUGUST 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
His story is largely devoid of wanton violence and gratuitous sex.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THE WORLD WAS OVER?|WILLIAM O’CONNOR|AUGUST 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There was justified violence—going after al Qaeda—and then there was gratuitous violence.
AHMED ABU KHATTALA ARREST SPOILS GOP’S BENGHAZI PARTY|MICHAEL TOMASKY|JUNE 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
She also prepared for gratuitous distribution a large number of four-page leaflets on the most common farm pests.
WOMAN IN SCIENCE|JOHN AUGUSTINE ZAHM
Never did a periodical receive such an amount of gratuitous advertising.
THE AMERICANIZATION OF EDWARD BOK|EDWARD WILLIAM BOK
The convicts have not broken out; but an epidemic of gratuitous mendacity has done so, it appears.
PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI, VOL. 99, JULY 5, 1890|VARIOUS
France rejected entirely the principle of gratuitous transit.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF RATES OF POSTAGE|A. D. SMITH
When coinage is free and gratuitous, these two values are the same.
THE PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS|FRANK A. FETTER