Definition of gratuity in English:



  • 1formal A tip given to a waiter, taxi driver, etc.

    • ‘However, a special gratuity paid to a driver, for example at Christmas, may not be taxable.’
    • ‘As we headed home, my mate wondered why many cafés have counter-top jars for tips if paying gratuities was not New Zealand custom.’
    • ‘These gratuities are voluntary rewards given from spectators who genuinely enjoyed the battle in the ring.’
    • ‘Make the martini their way and you'll get a bigger tip; to amass the greatest wealth in gratuities, you must learn to make over 100 drinks.’
    • ‘But for the amount of work we do, a small gratuity is always appreciated.’
    tip, gift, present, donation, reward, handout, recompense, boon, baksheesh
    View synonyms
  • 2British A sum of money paid to an employee at the end of a period of employment.

    ‘an end-of-contract gratuity of 20% of the total pay received’
    • ‘Well, as part of my pay for February, I received my gratuity for the contract period that ended December 31, 2002.’
    • ‘Charitable payments or gratuities given by employers should not be deducted from awards of damages as it is important not to discourage benevolence.’
    • ‘Government has been implored to intervene in the labour stand-off between the company and its workers following failure by management to pay gratuity to over 400 employees.’
    • ‘It also wants to lengthen the qualifying period for long-service leave and dump a gratuity entitlement.’
    • ‘He added that the retirement gratuity had been increased following negotiations which had been accepted by the union side.’


Late 15th century (denoting graciousness or favour): from Old French gratuité or medieval Latin gratuitas ‘gift’, from Latin gratus ‘pleasing, thankful’.