- 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.
Origin of gild1
- an organization of persons with related interests, goals, etc., especially one formed for mutual aid or protection.
- any of various medieval associations, as of merchants or artisans, organized to maintain standards and to protect the interests of its members, and that sometimes constituted a local governing body.
- Botany. a group of plants, as parasites, having a similar habit of growth and nutrition.
Origin of guild
Related Words for gildbedeck, adorn, plate, varnish, whitewash, paint, deck, enrich, ornament, brighten, wash, beautify, coat, enhance, overlay, garnish, glitter, grace, embroider, tinsel
Examples from the Web for gild
Historical Examples of gild
They were so attached to a goat that they wanted to gild its horns.Criminal Man
See how it seems to gild everything as the light rises, Dolly!A Campfire Girl's Test of Friendship
Jane L. Stewart
If it is desired to gild the inside of a glass vessel, Solution No.On Laboratory Arts
There is gold enough there to gild the walls and ceiling, if it were beaten thin.The Crown of Wild Olive
He undertook to gild and letter books at his customers' own houses.The Book-Collector
William Carew Hazlitt
- 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
Word Origin for gild
- a variant spelling of guild (def. 2)
- an organization, club, or fellowship
- (esp in medieval Europe) an association of men sharing the same interests, such as merchants or artisans: formed for mutual aid and protection and to maintain craft standards or pursue some other purpose such as communal worship
- ecology a group of plants, such as a group of epiphytes, that share certain habits or characteristics
Word Origin for guild
early 13c., yilde (spelling later influenced by Old Norse gildi "guild, brotherhood"), a semantic fusion of Old English gegyld "guild" and gild, gyld "payment, tribute, compensation," from Proto-Germanic *gelth- "pay" (cf. Old Frisian geld "money," Old Saxon geld "payment, sacrifice, reward," Old High German gelt "payment, tribute;" see yield (v.)).
The connecting sense is of a tribute or payment to join a protective or trade society. But some see the root in its alternative sense of "sacrifice," as if in worship, and see the word as meaning a combination for religious purposes, either Christian or pagan. The Anglo-Saxon guilds had a strong religious component; they were burial societies that paid for masses for the souls of deceased members as well as paying fines in cases of justified crime. The continental custom of guilds of merchants arrived after the Conquest, with incorporated societies of merchants in each town or city holding exclusive rights of doing business there. In many cases they became the governing body of a town (cf. Guildhall, which came to be the London city hall). Trade guilds arose 14c., as craftsmen united to protect their common interest.