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I remember a word that meant automatic gift that is given to everyone present. The example sentence was, "Everyone receives a ________________ glass of wine upon entering."

I thought the word was preemptive, but I don't think that's correct after reviewing the definition. Any thoughts?

Also, I remember something about no refusing, but it's all very hazy. Thanks!

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3 Answers 3

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There's complimentary:

[Merriam-Webster]
2 : given free as a courtesy or favor
    // complimentary tickets

In the example sentence:

Everyone receives a complimentary glass of wine upon entering.


As a corollary, if a gift cannot be refused (which I find unusual), it could be called obligatory:

[Merriam-Webster]
1 : binding in law or conscience
    // The ordinance made it obligatory that homeowners clear the snow from the sidewalks.
2 : relating to or enforcing an obligation
    // a writ obligatory
3 : MANDATORY, REQUIRED
    // obligatory military service
also : so commonplace as to be a convention, fashion, or cliché
    // the obligatory death scene in opera
    // The thriller included the obligatory chase scene.


However, an obligatory gift would normally be one that's expected to be provided, not one that couldn't be refused. However, even if the other sense is used, I think of no single word for "an automatic gift that cannot be refused."

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  • I would also add, when talking of an "obligatory gift", especially as the receiver of a gift, it often implies that the gift is also perfunctory.
    – Steve
    May 28, 2020 at 14:19
  • @Steve In what sense of perfunctory? The "routine or superficiality" sense of perfunctory is covered in the final sense of obligatory. Or are you saying that routine gifts are also often thought of as "lacking in interest or enthusiasm"? While that might be true, I don't know if I'd characterize that as a common attitude, and it seems to be moving away from the main point of the question … May 28, 2020 at 15:07
  • At a wedding, for example, giving a gift may be mandated by social practice, but if the receiver described it as an "obligatory gift", the implication is often that the gift is tat. It may also be used in situations where the gift scarcely is mandatory - such as where an employer provides a christmas present, which is not widely regarded as mandatory - but the employer nevertheless chooses to provide a tatty gift that generates no appreciation. My point is that the word "obligatory" has many shades of meaning, but not really the one you contend for here.
    – Steve
    May 28, 2020 at 15:44
  • @Steve I think that's my point. I can't think of any situation where gifts must be accepted. That goes against the idea of gifts. The word obligatory could be used, but it's not normally meant that way (as I said). I didn't mention the "lacking in enthusiasm" (tatty?) sense of perfunctory because it's not related to something being mandated. In any case, I'm not too concerned with this part of the answer. I'm more concerned with the main point, which is complimentary. May 28, 2020 at 15:53
  • I agree with you, complimentary is exactly the word the OP sought.
    – Steve
    May 28, 2020 at 16:39
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How about swag. From Lexico:

swag: Products given away free, typically for promotional purposes.

Sometimes this is automatic (e.g., every attendee at a conference receives a logoed briefcase with items like program, paper, pens, refrigerator magnets, etc.), and sometimes it's not (e.g., attendees at trade shows can pick up all manner of free items at vendor booths).

Another possibility is party favor. From Lexico:

party favor: A gift, usually small and inexpensive, given to guests at a party.

This has the meaning of a single word and is automatic.

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  • Testing your words against the OP's sentence: "Everyone receives a swag glass of wine"? "Everyone receives a party favour glass of wine"? I think these words are one gift the OP should refuse!
    – Steve
    May 28, 2020 at 16:41
  • @Steve Good test, but why should the OP refuse two such wonderful free gifts! :-) I was answering the question in a context larger than the OP's example. My initial reaction was complimentary as suggested by Jason Bassford. Time to UV that one. May 28, 2020 at 16:50
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Without insisting so much on the idea of favour that could be read into this act, point of view towards this sort of liberality which is not usual, really rather extreme, one might say "welcoming".

  • Everyone receives a welcoming glass of wine upon entering.

Rather than adjective qualifying the intention in offering something that way, a usual verb telling this intention can be used instead.

  • Everyone is greeted with a glass of wine upon entering.
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  • This may fit the specific sentence that the OP gave as an example, but it does not capture the concept generally, What if the 'gift' is not given upon entering, but when one is about the leave the place?
    – jsw29
    May 28, 2020 at 20:48
  • @jsw29 In that case, it seems that you can talk of such things as "parting toast", "farewell glass", and other combinations of that sort that can probably be found.
    – LPH
    May 28, 2020 at 20:54

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