One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1formal A tip given to a waiter, taxi driver, etc.
tip, gift, present, donation, reward, handout, recompense, boon, baksheeshView synonyms
- ‘But for the amount of work we do, a small gratuity is always appreciated.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘However, a special gratuity paid to a driver, for example at Christmas, may not be taxable.’
- ‘These gratuities are voluntary rewards given from spectators who genuinely enjoyed the battle in the ring.’
- ‘As we headed home, my mate wondered why many cafés have counter-top jars for tips if paying gratuities was not New Zealand custom.’
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.’
- ‘He added that the retirement gratuity had been increased following negotiations which had been accepted by the union side.’
- ‘It also wants to lengthen the qualifying period for long-service leave and dump a gratuity entitlement.’
- ‘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.’
Late 15th century (denoting graciousness or favour): from Old French gratuité or medieval Latin gratuitas ‘gift’, from Latin gratus ‘pleasing, thankful’.
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