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gilding

[gil-ding] /ˈgɪl dɪŋ/
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
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English; see gild1, -ing1

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
1300-50; Middle English gilden, Old English -gyldan; akin to gold
Related forms
gildable, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gilding
  • 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.
  • The gilding metal used in the jacket typically consists of cupronickel, cupro-zinc, cupro-tin or in some cases pure copper.
  • Most of the original gilding that covered the openwork crown of the lantern has worn off.
  • After three month's work, golden yellow highlights that originally represented the frame's gilding were uncovered.
  • These feature surfaces embellished with intricate lacquer work and gilding.
  • Some alabaster sculptures, reliefs, and other objects have layers of decorative paint or gilding applied.
British Dictionary definitions for gilding

gilding

/ˈɡɪldɪŋ/
noun
1.
the act or art of applying gilt to a surface
2.
the surface so produced
3.
another word for gilt1 (sense 2)

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
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gilding
n.

"action of gilding," mid-15c.; "golden surface produced by gilding," 1630s; verbal noun from gild (v.).

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for 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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