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Definition unnecessary and unwarranted

or less commonly (except where it is common in the legal field):  costing nothing
  • She is known for distributing gratuitous insults.
gratuitous = unnecessary and unwarranted
  • a gratuitous assumption
  • I found the gore a bit gratuitous, so I looked away for a second, asking Augustus, "How many dead people do you think there are?"
    John Green  --  The Fault in Our Stars
  • gratuitous = unnecessary and unwarranted
  • Folly, folly, his heart kept saying: conscious, gratuitous, suicidal folly.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • gratuitous = unnecessary and unwarranted
  • I don't go around gratuitously shooting people and then bragging about it afterward in seedy space-rangers bars,
    Douglas Adams  --  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • gratuitously = unnecessary and unwarranted
  • But in the humans the Enemy has gratuitously associated affection between the parties with sexual desire.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Screwtape Letters
  • gratuitously = unnecessary and unwarranted

    or less commonly (except where it is common in the legal field):  costing nothing
  • If there was one thing about Liesel Meminger, her thieving was not gratuitous.
    Markus Zusak  --  The Book Thief
  • gratuitous = unnecessary and unwarranted
  • Primroses and landscapes, he pointed out, have one grave defect: they are gratuitous.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • gratuitous = unnecessary
  • is most curious to see that you have so much time on your hands that you are able to simply wander about this house bothering others with gratuitous comments.
    Kazuo Ishiguro  --  The Remains of the Day
  • gratuitous = unnecessary and unwarranted
  • Fearless and wicked as they are, they dare not attempt such open and gratuitous cruelty
    Scott, Walter  --  Ivanhoe
  • I saw the folly of the enterprise to which I had committed myself—the sheer, gratuitous, unnecessary folly of it.
    Hornung, E. W.  --  The Amateur Cracksman
  • Raffles would never have led me into danger so gratuitous and unnecessary, but he followed me into it without a word.
    Hornung, E. W.  --  A Thief in the Night
  • The time and the manner of his asking her appeared like a gratuitous insult to me; and I could have wept with pure vexation.
    Bronte, Anne  --  The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • "Dear father," he said sadly, "I wish you would not expose yourself to such gratuitous pain from scoundrels."
    Hardy, Thomas  --  Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman
  • The attack must have all the shocking senselessness of gratuitous blasphemy.
    Conrad, Joseph  --  The Secret Agent
  • He would never stand there again; it was gratuitous dreariness.
    Henry James  --  The American
  • Or they killed you gratuitously like Aymo.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  A Farewell to Arms
  • ... Frankly, I don't care to see them, for I will not be compromised by gratuitous pretrial testimony that can be injurious to my position.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • I—I got 'em at Ginsberg's," she added gratuitously.
    Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  • "Tell him about the gratuitous act, Millie," he said.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues

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