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Denotation vs. Connotation

gild1

[gild] /gɪld/
verb (used with object), gilded or gilt, gilding.
1.
to coat with gold, gold leaf, or a gold-colored substance.
2.
to give a bright, pleasing, or specious aspect to.
3.
Archaic. to make red, as with blood.
Idioms
4.
gild the lily, to add unnecessary ornamentation, a special feature, etc., in an attempt to improve something that is already complete, satisfactory, or ideal:
After that wonderful meal, serving a fancy dessert would be gilding the lily.
Origin of gild1
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English gilden, Old English -gyldan; akin to gold
Related forms
gildable, adjective

gild2

[gild] /gɪld/
noun
1.

guild

or gild

[gild] /gɪld/
noun
1.
an organization of persons with related interests, goals, etc., especially one formed for mutual aid or protection.
2.
any of various medieval associations, as of merchants or artisans, organized to maintain standards and to protect the interests of its members, and that sometimes constituted a local governing body.
3.
Botany. a group of plants, as parasites, having a similar habit of growth and nutrition.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English gild(e) < Old Norse gildi guild, payment; replacing Old English gegyld guild; akin to German Geld money, Gothic -gild tax
Can be confused
gild, gilt, guild, guilt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for gild

gild1

/ɡɪld/
verb (transitive) gilds, gilding, gilded, gilt (ɡɪlt)
1.
to cover with or as if with gold
2.
gild the lily
  1. to adorn unnecessarily something already beautiful
  2. to praise someone inordinately
3.
to give a falsely attractive or valuable appearance to
4.
(archaic) to smear with blood
Derived Forms
gilder, noun
Word Origin
Old English gyldan, from goldgold; related to Old Norse gylla, Middle High German vergülden

gild2

/ɡɪld/
noun
1.
a variant spelling of guild (sense 2)
Derived Forms
gildsman, noun

guild

/ɡɪld/
noun
1.
an organization, club, or fellowship
2.
(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
3.
(ecology) a group of plants, such as a group of epiphytes, that share certain habits or characteristics
Word Origin
C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse gjald payment, gildi guild; related to Old English gield offering, Old High German gelt money
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for gild
v.

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.

guild

n.

early 13c., yilde (spelling later influenced by Old Norse gildi "guild, brotherhood"), a semantic fusion of Old English gegyld "guild" and gild, gyld "payment, tribute, compensation," from Proto-Germanic *gelth- "pay" (cf. Old Frisian geld "money," Old Saxon geld "payment, sacrifice, reward," Old High German gelt "payment, tribute;" see yield (v.)).

The connecting sense is of a tribute or payment to join a protective or trade society. But some see the root in its alternative sense of "sacrifice," as if in worship, and see the word as meaning a combination for religious purposes, either Christian or pagan. The Anglo-Saxon guilds had a strong religious component; they were burial societies that paid for masses for the souls of deceased members as well as paying fines in cases of justified crime. The continental custom of guilds of merchants arrived after the Conquest, with incorporated societies of merchants in each town or city holding exclusive rights of doing business there. In many cases they became the governing body of a town (cf. Guildhall, which came to be the London city hall). Trade guilds arose 14c., as craftsmen united to protect their common interest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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