There are 2 main definitions of gild in English:


Syllabification: gild
Pronunciation: /ɡild


[with object]
1Cover thinly with gold.
More example sentences
  • While most were of a standard alloy of leaded bronze some were gilded or made in gold or silver.
  • They came to it rather quickly, the largest building in the village that was covered in jewels and gilded with gold.
  • Almost everything was gilded in gold, and the room seemed to sparkle.
cover with gold, paint gold
1.1Give a specious or false brilliance to: they gild the facts until the truth all but vanishes
elaborate, embellish, embroider;
camouflage, disguise, dress up, color, exaggerate, expand on
informal jazz up


Old English gyldan, of Germanic origin; related to gold.


gild the lily

Try to improve what is already beautiful or excellent.
[misquotation, from 'To gild refined gold, to paint the lily; to throw perfume on the violet, … is wasteful, and ridiculous excess' (Shakespeare's King John vi. ii. 11)]
More example sentences
  • ‘Today we were magnificent,’ said O'Neill. somewhat gilding the lily.
  • I feel that commenting on this response would be gilding the lily.
  • They believe they are right, and have never gilded the lily.



More example sentences
  • Such results were deliberately expensive and labor intensive, requiring the most inventive designers, skilled carvers, expert gilders, and experienced glassmakers.
  • The firm employed approximately one hundred specialized workers including gilders, carpenters, upholsterers, repairmen, and glaziers.
  • Many artists were also gilders, frame makers, or sign and coach painters.

Definition of gild in: