January 11, 2019
gratuitous (adjective)
\gruh-TOO-uh-tus\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : done or provided freely with nothing expected in return2 : not called for by the circumstances : unwarranted
How do you use it?
The town's newspaper provides gratuitous support to local theater groups by advertising their productions free of charge.
Are you a word wiz?

From which of these roots do you think "gratuitous" is derived?

We can only offer you congratulations on a job well done if you picked B. "Gratuitous" derives from Latin "gratus," meaning "pleasing" or "agreeable." "Gratus" developed into Latin "gratuitus," the immediate ancestor of the English word "gratuitous." "Gratuitous" first appeared in English in the mid-1600s in the sense of "freely given." The second sense, meaning "unwarranted," followed soon after. The "gratus" family of English words is a large one. Besides "gratuitous," it includes "agree," "congratulate," "grace," "grateful," "gratify," "gratitude," and "ingrate."
Archive RSS Feed