From Middle French gratuité (from Old French gratuite) or directly from Medieval Latin gratuitas (“a free gift”), from Latin gratuitus (“freely given, free”); see gratuitous.
gratuity (plural gratuities)
- An additional payment given freely as thanks for service.
- Euphemistic form of fee, in contexts where such additional payments have been made obligatory.
- Euphemistic form of bribe.
- (additional payment offered in thanks): douceur, grace, pourboire, tip; baksheesh (Turkish and Middle Eastern contexts); cumshaw (SE Chinese contexts; archaic); see also gift
- (obligatory fee): service charge; douceur, tip (euphemistic)
- (bribe): Thesaurus:bribe
- (additional gift from a vendor): lagniappe
reward provided freely, without obligation
service charge — see service charge, fee
bribe#Noun — see bribe
- “gratuity”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “gratuity”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.