(esp in medieval Europe) an association of men sharing the same interests, such as merchants or artisans: formed for mutual aid and protection and to maintain craft standards or pursue some other purpose such as communal worship
(ecology) a group of plants, such as a group of epiphytes, that share certain habits or characteristics
C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse gjald payment, gildi guild; related to Old English gield offering, Old High German gelt money
Old English gyldan "to gild, to cover with a thin layer of gold," from Proto-Germanic *gulthianan (cf. Old Norse gylla "to gild," Old High German ubergulden "to cover with gold"), from *gulthan "gold" (see gold). Related: Gilded; gilding. Figuratively from 1590s.