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

Definition of gild

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to overlay with or as if with a thin covering of gold
2a : to give money to
b : to give an attractive but often deceptive appearance to was hired to gild the company's image
c archaic : to make bloody
gild the lily
: to add unnecessary ornamentation to something beautiful in its own right



less common spelling of

1 : an association of people with similar interests or pursuits especially : a medieval association of merchants or craftsmen
2 : a group of organisms that use the same ecological resource in a similar way a feeding guild

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Other Words from gild


gilder noun

Examples of gild in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 But the up-to-the-minute plotlines gild what insiders say has been a very tumultuous time. Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2020 The sauce should gild, not asphyxiate, the noodles. Saveur Editors, Saveur, 30 May 2017 Apple first rose to fame as a troubadour of sad songs gilded with rage, her voice burning with emotion. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, 21 Apr. 2020 Rather than repair the damage, the savvy city instead decided to gild the cannon ball — highlighting the monument’s imperviousness to attack. Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2020 Three-quarters of the world’s Bruegel paintings under one roof would be more than enough for a blockbuster, but the curators have gilded the lily by adding nearly half of the master’s surviving drawings and prints. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, 7 Sep. 2018 Everything after that is, in a certain sense, gilding the lily. David Kender, USA TODAY, 20 Jan. 2020 The coffin that’s left is gilded and painted with winged gods, beetles, falcons, panthers, and inscriptions. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 18 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of gild


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gild


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

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Time Traveler for gild

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near gild

Gilboa, Mount



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Cite this Entry

“Gild.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for gild



English Language Learners Definition of gild

: to cover (something) with a thin layer of gold


\ ˈgild How to pronounce gild (audio) \
gilded or gilt\ ˈgilt \; gilding

Kids Definition of gild

: to cover with a thin coating of gold gilded doors

More from Merriam-Webster on gild

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gild

Nglish: Translation of gild for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about gild


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