gilding

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gild1 / gild/ • v. [tr.] cover thinly with gold. ∎  give a specious or false brilliance to: the useless martyrs' deaths of the pilots gilded the operation. PHRASES: gild the lily try to improve what is already beautiful or excellent. DERIVATIVES: gild·er n. gild2 • n. archaic spelling of guild.

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gild •Schwarzwald • Buchenwald •beheld, eld, geld, held, meld, self-propelled, upheld, weld, withheld •Ziegfeld • unparalleled • spot-weld •unscaled •afield, field, midfield, misfield, shield, unaneled, unconcealed, unhealed, unpeeled, unrevealed, unsealed, wield, yield •backfield • battlefield • Mansfield •Garfield • Sheffield • Lee-Enfield •airfield • Wakefield • Masefield •Greenfield • Lichfield • brickfield •Springfield • Smithfield • minefield •cornfield • brownfield • outfield •snowfield •coalfield, goldfield, Sutton Coldfield •oilfield • Bloomfield • Nuffield •upfield • Huddersfield • Sellafield •chesterfield • windshield •gumshield •build, deskilled, gild, guild, self-willed, sild, unfilled, unfulfilled, unskilled, untilled, upbuild •Brunhild • Roskilde

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gilding, process of applying a thin layer of real or imitation gold to a surface. The process is employed on wood, metal, ivory, leather, paper, glass, porcelain, and fabrics and is used to embellish the decorative elements, domes, and vaults of buildings. Gold, or a substitute, may be applied in leaf form to a surface prepared by a treatment of size, mercury, acid, or heat. The applied leaf is burnished or left matte. Mechanical and chemical gilding of metals has been largely superseded by electroplating (see plating). The art of gilding is of ancient origin. It was lavishly employed in Egypt, Greece, and Rome and during the Renaissance and has been used continuously in Asia.

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gild gild the lily embellish excessively, add ornament where none is needed, from an alteration of a quotation from Shakespeare's King John, ‘To gild refinèd gold, to paint the lily’. The conflated expression gild the lily is recorded from the early 20th century.
gild the pill make something unpleasant seem more acceptable (pills were traditionally coated with gilt to make them more attractive).

See also gilded, gilt.

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gild·ing / ˈgilding/ • n. the process of applying gold leaf or gold paint. ∎  the material used in, or the surface produced by, this process.

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gild1 cover with gold. OE. -gyldan (in pp. ġegyld GILT1 and comps.) = ON. gylla :- Gmc. *ʒulþjan, f. *ʒulþam GOLD.

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gild2 see GUILD.