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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

gild the lily

1. To adorn unnecessarily something already beautiful.
2. To make superfluous additions to what is already complete.
See also: gild, lily
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

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
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
(Going this deep is gilding the lily of another sort, in my opinion, and it has a zero function with just about any music and virtually all home-theater source material.) It is subjectively as clean with musical material as even the potent Velodyne servo models.
But looking around The Living and the Dead, the 62-year-old's largest ever exhibition of work (and his first in his native Liverpool), viewers might think he's gilding the lily when it comes to professed inactivity.
"I saw that it was an opportunity to gild the lily and I like nothing better than gilding the lily. The house has wonderful proportions and I wanted to make sure it was a warm, family home."
It is, however, in danger of gilding the lily - just as New Labour's own 'repeat messaging' of its achievements ultimately caused people to disbelieve all it said.
It has already won awards, gilding the lily of the Picasso name which started life some years ago on the Xsara Picasso, a car which became a British family workhorse and the pride of the private hire taxi wo r l d.
Gilding the Lily, by Rita Bradshaw (Headline pounds 19.99).
He was caught gilding the lily a fair bit - come to think of it something in common with Tony!
* GILDING THE LILY: Youngsters, Tom (left) and Jack Stainton are draped in lillies by the organisers of the annual Golcar Lilly Day Picture by Andy Catchpool (AC030512Bgolc-01)
Actually, maybe I'm gilding the lily a little bit there.
Whizzbang special effects - pyrotechnics, real flames and a digital screen lifted from an onstage pond - add to the drama, but with a production like this are pretty much gilding the lily.
Those two spend most of their time gilding the lily, David with tattoos - his latest apparently runs from his armpit to his waist - and Victoria by perfecting her pout.
To say they're representative of the majority of Britain's female population is gilding the lily a tad.
? Gilding the Lily Page 7 Shepley THE village's acclaimed band has been given cheques by two of its admirers - Kirkburton Parish Council and Shepley Spring.
In summing up the case, Judge Chatelier pointed to evidence against the seven which was "gilding the lily, or lies".
You may be at risk of gilding the lily but significantly you are in no way suggesting the wholesale reconstruction of the delicate female flower.