gild the lily


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gild the lily

To further adorn something that is already beautiful. You look radiant, as always—wearing such an extravagant gown is just gilding the lily.
See also: gild, lily

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

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

If someone gilds the lily, they try to improve something which is already very good, and so what they are doing is unnecessary. There can be a temptation to gild the lily in such documents, making exaggerated claims about what the school can offer to students. Top the cake with ice cream or whipped cream, if you're keen on gilding the lily. Note: This expression may be based on lines in Shakespeare's `King John' (1595): `To gild refined gold, to paint the lily... Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.' (Act 4, Scene 2)
See also: gild, lily

gild the lily

try to improve what is already beautiful or excellent.
This phrase adapts lines from Shakespeare's King John: ‘To gild refined gold, to paint the lily…Is wasteful and ridiculous excess’.
See also: gild, lily

gild the ˈlily

try to improve something which is already perfect, and so spoil it: The dress is perfect. Don’t add anything to it at all. It would just be gilding the lily.This comes from Shakespeare’s play King John. Gild means ‘to cover something with a thin layer of gold’. A lily is a very beautiful flower.
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, to

To add excessive ornament; to pile excess on excess. This term is a condensation of Shakespeare’s statement in King John (4.2), “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily . . . is wasteful and ridiculous excess.” Earlier (sixteenth-century) versions of this idea cited whitening ivory with ink (Erasmus, Adagia) and painting fine marble (George Pettie, Petite Pallace). Byron quoted Shakespeare correctly (“But Shakespeare also says, ’tis very silly to gild refined gold, or paint the lily”), in Don Juan (1818), but sometime during the succeeding years it became the cliché we now know.
See also: gild

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 ?
To gild the lily, the production had a very knowledgeable Mozart conductor as music director in Mario Bernardi.
Albion and Birmingham City old boy Darren Carter then scored to make it 2-1, only for North End to gild the lily with three late goals.
Fitzgerald does tend to gild the lily in the final section, when he draws strained connections between Bush, Madrid's educator mother and young Hernandez; the doc's omission of Clinton's support of border militarization--arguably the cause of the tragedy--gives it the feeling of being unfairly politically slanted.
Danny Murphy is capable of probing and unlocking, but too often he wants to gild the lily with one more ineffectual safe pass instead of piercing defences with a stiletto to the heart.
"Let's not gild the lily, or sugar it" - IAN DANTER "It looked as though he'd damaged ligaments, or had ligament damage" - IAN DANTER
Thankfully, the BBC doesn't, and decided to gild the lily by recruiting Michaela Strachan in place of the more serious Kate Humble for the new run.
Since then, orchestras have become louder with the phasing out of gut strings, and the introduction of wider bore wind instruments, so to use Mahler nowadays is really to gild the lily.
"It's a delicate balance because you don't want to gild the lily so you have too much of an ensemble with stars all over the place overwhelming the movie.
Lou Reed, Boy George and Rufus Wainwright all gild the lily, but the show most definitely belongs to Antony.
If they had, either Kanu or Giovanni van Bronckhorst would have tucked their myriad chances away instead of trying to gild the lily in displays of ridiculous showmanship.
But just to gild the lily, it's a genuinely spooky and darkly atmospheric exploration of some creepy themes.
And whether you're trying to get a few quid knocked off a new appliance, taking part in musical, art of literature interests, or trying to chat up someone glamorous, little is beyond you - providing you don't over gild the lily. Call for more....
They say some of the blame for unrealistic house prices lies with estate agents who 'gild the lily' to ensure they get the property on their books.
Tom Chaplin's on his best choirboy at Eventide mode, while Tim Rice-Oxley and co gild the lily in suitably decorous fashion.