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gilding

[gil-ding]
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noun
  1. the application of gilt.
  2. the gold leaf or other material with which something is gilded.
  3. the golden surface produced by the application of gilt.
  4. something used to create a deceptively pleasing, impressive, or alluring aspect or character.

Origin of gilding

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at gild1, -ing1

gild1

[gild]
verb (used with object), gild·ed or gilt, gild·ing.
  1. to coat with gold, gold leaf, or a gold-colored substance.
  2. to give a bright, pleasing, or specious aspect to.
  3. Archaic. to make red, as with blood.
Idioms
  1. 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.

Origin of gild1

1300–50; Middle English gilden, Old English -gyldan; akin to gold
Related formsgild·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gilding

Historical Examples

  • We rake the grass, and then, gilding refined gold, we sweep it.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • Previous to this, the light dust should be blown from the gilding, and a feather or a clean brush lightly passed over it.

  • But a dab of varnish, a touch of gilding here and there, was all that was necessary.

    Chance

    Joseph Conrad

  • The palisades were of iron, though the tops were tipped with gilding, and they were very high.

    Rollo in Paris

    Jacob Abbott

  • He supported many monks, he gave largely to the gilding of the pagoda.


British Dictionary definitions for gilding

gilding

noun
  1. the act or art of applying gilt to a surface
  2. the surface so produced
  3. another word for gilt 1 (def. 2)

gild1

verb gilds, gilding, gilded or gilt (ɡɪlt) (tr)
  1. to cover with or as if with gold
  2. gild the lily
    1. to adorn unnecessarily something already beautiful
    2. to praise someone inordinately
  3. to give a falsely attractive or valuable appearance to
  4. archaic to smear with blood
Derived Formsgilder, noun

Word Origin

Old English gyldan, from gold gold; related to Old Norse gylla, Middle High German vergülden

gild2

noun
  1. a variant spelling of guild (def. 2)
Derived Formsgildsman, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for gilding

n.

"action of gilding," mid-15c.; "golden surface produced by gilding," 1630s; verbal noun from gild (v.).

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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