- the application of gilt.
- the gold leaf or other material with which something is gilded.
- the golden surface produced by the application of gilt.
- something used to create a deceptively pleasing, impressive, or alluring aspect or character.
verb (used with object), gild·ed or gilt, gild·ing.
- to coat with gold, gold leaf, or a gold-colored substance.
- to give a bright, pleasing, or specious aspect to.
- Archaic. to make red, as with blood.
- gild the lily, to add unnecessary ornamentation, a special feature, etc., in an attempt to improve something that is already complete, satisfactory, or ideal: After that wonderful meal, serving a fancy dessert would be gilding the lily.
- the act or art of applying gilt to a surface
- the surface so produced
- another word for gilt 1 (def. 2)
verb gilds, gilding, gilded or gilt (ɡɪlt) (tr)
- to cover with or as if with gold
- gild the lily
- to adorn unnecessarily something already beautiful
- to praise someone inordinately
- to give a falsely attractive or valuable appearance to
- archaic to smear with blood
- a variant spelling of guild (def. 2)
“action of gilding,” mid-15c.; “golden surface produced by gilding,” 1630s; verbal noun from gild (v.).
Old English gyldan “to gild, to cover with a thin layer of gold,” from Proto-Germanic *gulthianan (cf. Old Norse gylla “to gild,” Old High German ubergulden “to cover with gold”), from *gulthan “gold” (see gold). Related: Gilded; gilding. Figuratively from 1590s.