gilding

[gil-ding]
noun
1.
the application of gilt.
2.
the gold leaf or other material with which something is gilded.
3.
the golden surface produced by the application of gilt.
4.
something used to create a deceptively pleasing, impressive, or alluring aspect or character.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English; see gild1, -ing1

Dictionary.com Unabridged

gild

1 [gild]
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:
1300–50; Middle English gilden, Old English -gyldan; akin to gold

gildable, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
gild1 (ɡɪld)
 
vb , gilds, gilding, gilded, gilt
1.  to cover with or as if with gold
2.  gild the lily
 a.  to adorn unnecessarily something already beautiful
 b.  to praise someone inordinately
3.  to give a falsely attractive or valuable appearance to
4.  archaic to smear with blood
 
[Old English gyldan, from goldgold; related to Old Norse gylla, Middle High German vergülden]
 
'gilder1
 
n

gild2 (ɡɪld)
 
n
a variant spelling of guild
 
'gildsman2
 
n

gilding (ˈɡɪldɪŋ)
 
n
1.  the act or art of applying gilt to a surface
2.  the surface so produced
3.  another word for gilt

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gild
O.E. gyldan, from P.Gmc. *gulthianan (cf. O.N. gylla "to guild"), from *gulthan "gold."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

gilding

the art of decorating the whole or parts of wood, metal, plaster, glass, or other objects with gold in leaf or powder form. The term also embraces the application of silver, palladium, aluminum, and copper alloys.

Learn more about gilding with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Much of the gilding from the statue has also been broken off.
Resembling a leather-bound holy text with gold leaf gilding, the book's design
  adds to its gravitas.
The music world has its ways of gilding ugly economic realities.
No paint or dye can give so splendid a colour as gilding.
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