There are 2 main definitions of gild in English:

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gild 1

Pronunciation: /ɡɪld/


[with object] (often as adjective gilded)
1Cover thinly with gold: Camelot’s gilded towers figurative the first rays of the sun were gilding the grassy hillside
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, lacquer gold, inlay with gold
1.1 (as adjective gilded) Wealthy and privileged: the gilded fools who surrounded the Prince
More example sentences
  • He was said to be behind many of the biggest house sales, earning substantial commissions, while destroying the gilded world he inhabited.
  • Even makeup has been touched by the gold rush, with shimmering powders and glitter nail varnishes in the shops to help create the gilded glamour look.
  • As she contemplates a gilded future, she will perhaps be dreaming about fast cars, yachts and palatial houses.


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.)
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.



Pronunciation: /ˈɡɪldə/
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.


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

Words that rhyme with gild

build, deskilled, guild, self-willed, sild, unfilled, unfulfilled, unskilled, untilled, upbuild
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There are 2 main definitions of gild in English:

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gild 2


Archaic spelling of guild.
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