gild the lily, to

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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 ?
But when it comes to fish, simplicity isn't always what's achieved by cooks desperate to gild the lily.
He went on a binge to gild the lily by adding that 'they (Pakistan that is) have given us nothing but lies and deceit'.
Whereas the decorative borders in hymns hubbub heard serve to gild the lily, they do little to enhance the already fantastical landscape in once were wild.
Among those I've encountered, some multiple times: "refer back," "reflect back," "regress back," "remand back," "revert back." The sense of "back" is baked into many re--words, but some people aren't satisfied and are compelled to gild the lily. Similarly, heard in a podcast: "I'm rereading again...."
And to gild the lily Land Rover has added its innovative Ingenium diesel engine - made in Britain at the company's new multi-million pound powertrain plant in Wolverhampton - to the range.
I've been banging on about this for a long time now-but those who open quiet little neighborhood restaurants are under a lot of pressure to gild the lily, or as one of my friends would call it, add eklavu to their restaurants to justify their existence (and also have an excuse to jack up the prices).
(A terrific sword fight directed by Jacques Lemay was the only other, much-needed, burst of vitality.) He also successfully overcame director Glynis Leyshon's tendency to gild the lily Iago does not need petty, cartoomsh deeds, such as tripping Roderigo or shoving Otello down the stairs, to make him a villain--and sang with dark richness and detailed shading.
As a person whose dad is a scientist, I don't like when people romanticize science because I think the facts are amazing and beautiful on their own and you don't need to gild the lily. It annoys the crap out of me.
The remainder of the project should be made to fall in line with the original project cost of $250 million (AMEinfo/Marina West, February 27, 2007) and not be influenced by the developers' previous attempts to gild the lily when they claimed in the Press it was now a $700m project.
If you want your next roofing project to come up roses, you might consider growing some up there--and if you really want to gild the lily, plant some incentive funding into the plot.
"Frankly, it is not surprising that the ambassador is trying to gild the lily and dampen down concerns that are very real."
(The president and his spokesman also clung to the video story for too long.) Rice should have been wary of a White House staff with a tendency to gild the lily, with her pal Valerie Jarrett and other staffers zealous about casting the president in a more flattering light.
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.