1. Given without an equivalent or recompense; conferred without valuable consideration; granted without pay, or without claim or merit; not required by justice. "We mistake the gratuitous blessings of Heaven for the fruits of our own industry." (L'Estrange)

2. Not called for by the circumstances; without reason, cause, or proof; adopted or asserted without any good ground; as, a gratuitous assumption. "Acts of gratuitous self-humiliation." (De Quincye) Gratu"itously, Gratu"itousness.

Origin: L. Gratuitus, from gratus pleasing. See Grate, Gratis.

(01 Mar 1998)