Etymology
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gratuitous (adj.)

1650s, "freely bestowed," from Latin gratuitus "done without pay, spontaneous, voluntary," from gratus "pleasing, agreeable," from gratia "favor" (from suffixed form of PIE root *gwere- (2) "to favor"). Earlier was gratuital (1590s). Sense of "uncalled for, done without good reason" is first recorded 1690s.

updated on October 19, 2017

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Definitions of gratuitous from WordNet

gratuitous (adj.)
costing nothing;
Synonyms: complimentary / costless / free / gratis
gratuitous (adj.)
without cause;
a gratuitous insult
gratuitous (adj.)
unnecessary and unwarranted;
Synonyms: needless / uncalled-for
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.