gild

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Related to gilded: gilded cage

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 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 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

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

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

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

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 ?
After we were seated at table, knives were placed around and gilded salt-cellars made of sugar and bread-paste and cups and glasses for wine.
Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose August 19 - 24 PURPOSELESS movements Robert softley gale and birds of paradise theatre company - who created last year's comedy hit my left/ right foot: the musical - present a ground-breaking dance piece by four performers with cerebral palsy.
One of these gilded age buildings has recently hit the market in NYC, with a fairly hefty price tag of $50 million.
But the works in 'Gilded Age' show samplings of Zaragoza, Martinez and Enriquez, who were exempted by general Spanish critical attitude that basically looked at the Filipino paintings and sculptures exhibited in the 1887 event as 'mediocre.'
Three-piece Gilded Thieves is made up of Laura Alexa Jackets (vocals and harmonica), David Fitzgerald (vocals and guitars) and John Dalziel (guitar, mandolin and ukulele).
All stationery pieces, from business cards to wedding invitations, may be designed, gilded and printed on-site through Print Icon's team of talented graphic designers and artisan printing techniques at both locations.
City officials are negotiating with a Boston-based production company that is filming "Gilded Lilys," a period drama based at an 1895 luxury hotel in New York City.
TODAY The Comedy Circuit By Gilded Balloon, The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh With Doc Brown, Stuart Goldsmith and Kiwi Jarred Christmas (The Persuasionists).
Wall Street and the fruited plain; money, expansion, and politics in the Gilded Age.
The Second Gilded Age: The Great Reaction in the United States, 1973-2001.
Each gilded roof is signed and numbered and the owner is presented with a certificate of authenticity.
The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age.
GILDED, who gave trainer Richard Hannon his fourth Queen Mary Stakes victory last year, is to be sold at the Barretts Summer Sale in Pomona, California, tomorrow.
An impressive architectural achievement of the Gilded Age when country manors and their gardens were a conspicuous documentation of personal wealth and power by their owners, the Miami estate of Vizcaya was the equal to such famous contemporary structures as the Bilmore and the San Simeon.