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gilded ˈgil-dəd How to pronounce gild (audio) or gilt ˈgilt How to pronounce gild (audio) ; gilding

transitive verb

: to overlay with or as if with a thin covering of gold
: to give money to
: to give an attractive but often deceptive appearance to
was hired to gild the company's image
archaic : to make bloody
gilder noun


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less common spelling of guild

: an association of people with similar interests or pursuits
especially : a medieval association of merchants or craftsmen
: a group of organisms that use the same ecological resource in a similar way
a feeding guild
gild the lily
: to add unnecessary ornamentation to something beautiful in its own right

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
In Maine, locals applauded the lobster’s starring role, though some chided the White House for trying to gild the lily with its elaborate preparation. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, 1 Dec. 2022 The very first World Cup held in Uruguay in 1930 was bankrolled by the state largely to gild its national centenary celebrations. Time, 20 Nov. 2022 To gild the lily for this recipe, some warm spices and musky lime zest tie it all together. Christian Reynoso, Bon Appétit, 25 July 2022 Political candidates often gild their story and, so far, in the race for the Republican Senate nomination with the backing of former President Donald Trump, Walker’s troubled background, falsehoods and contradictions have not carried a price. Brian Slodysko, ajc, 21 May 2022 Not afraid to gild the lily, Diner Grill’s cooks top the whole affair with a shimmering lava flow of chili and two eggs sunny side up. Adam Lukach,, 4 Mar. 2022 Just to gild the lily, there’s one more stat to add to the staggering list. Chris Willman, Variety, 21 Oct. 2021 The brand’s very first frame, also an 18-karat piece, used gold for its functional and non-reactive properties, as in dentistry, rather than to gild the face. Alexander Freeling, Robb Report, 21 Oct. 2021 It’s no longer enough to just gild the lily; the lily must now be ballyhooed as a veritable garden, in full bloom., 9 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gild.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English, from Old English gyldan; akin to Old English gold gold

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gild was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near gild

Cite this Entry

“Gild.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
gilded ˈgil-dəd How to pronounce gild (audio) or gilt ˈgilt How to pronounce gild (audio) ; gilding
: to cover with or as if with a coating of gold
gilder noun


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variant of guild

More from Merriam-Webster on gild

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