gild

(redirected from gilds)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to gilds: Guilds, gilds the lily

gilded cage

A life of wealth and luxury but without true freedom, happiness, or contentment. She married her husband because of his fortune, but her lonely life inside their mansion with a man she did not love quickly became a gilded cage.
See also: cage, gild

be (like) a bird in a gilded cage

To live a life of wealth and luxury but to be without true freedom, happiness, or contentment. She married her husband because of his fortune, and now she is a bird in a gilded cage, living her lonely life inside their empty mansion with a man she does not love. John forsook his friends and family in the pursuit of his riches, but with no friends or loved ones, he is now like a bird in a gilded cage.
See also: bird, cage, gild

gild the pill

To make something unpleasant seem appealing. I knew that my daughter was not going to be happy to go the doctor, so I gilded the pill by reminding her about all the toys that are in the office.
See also: gild, pill

gild the lily

Fig. to add ornament or decoration to something that is pleasing in its original state; to attempt to improve something that is already fine the way it is. (Often refers to flattery or exaggeration.) Your house has lovely brickwork. Don't paint it. That would be gilding the lily. Oh, Sally. You're beautiful the way you are. You don't need makeup. You would be gilding the lily.
See also: gild, lily

gild the lily

to spoil something by trying to improve or decorate it when it is already perfect
Usage notes: To gild something is to cover it with a thin layer of gold. A lily is a beautiful white flower. To gild a lily would not be necessary.
Should I add a scarf to this jacket or would it be gilding the lily?
See also: gild, lily

gilded cage

The encumbrances or limitations that often accompany material wealth, as in She had furs, jewelry, whatever money could buy, but was trapped in a gilded cage. This metaphoric expression indicating that riches cannot buy happiness was popularized (and possibly coined) in a song, "A Bird in a Gilded Cage" (1990; lyrics by Arthur J. Lamb, music by Harry von Tilzer), about a young girl marrying for wealth instead of love and paying for luxury with a life of regret.
See also: cage, gild

gild the lily

Add unnecessary adornment or supposed improvement. For example, Offering three different desserts after that elaborate meal would be gilding the lily. This expression is a condensation of Shakespeare's metaphor in King John (4:2): "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily ... is wasteful and ridiculous excess." [c. 1800]
See also: gild, lily

gild the lily

1. To adorn unnecessarily something already beautiful.
2. To make superfluous additions to what is already complete.
See also: gild, lily

gild the lily

Engage in an unnecessary and usually wasteful activity. Like carrying coals to Newcastle, to gild a lily would be a waste of time as the flower already possesses more than sufficient beauty. The phrase comes from a misquotation of lines from Shakespeare's King John: Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp, To guard a title that was rich before, To gild refined gold, to paint the lily . . . Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
See also: gild, lily
References in periodicals archive ?
In his fascinating book on the Men and Names of Old Birmingham (1864), Toulmin Smith revealed that in its last years of existence the Gild "being musical, had an organist, William Bothe", who had "a handsome salary.
Furthermore a Thomas Groves was keeper of the Gild House, or Town Hall as it was called, and its gardens - for which service he lived rent free in two of the Guild's cottages.
Still the Gild of the Holy Cross itself was a wide-ranging body, a kind of a trust that was funded by wealthy folk and which became vital as much for the physical wellbeing of Birmingham's people as for their souls.
Mr Boler will be managing director of Gilds, while Mr Cordner will take on the role of sales director.
Entrepreneur Mark Boler - to become the managing director of Gilds
In his fascinating book on the Men and Names of Old Birmingham (1864), Toulmin Smith revealed that the Gild "being musical, had an organist, William Bothe", who had "a handsome salary.
This facility was provided by the Gild of St John the Baptist in Deritend.