\ˈgild \
gilded\ ˈgil-​dəd \ or gilt\ ˈgilt \; 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

But lilies were made to be gilded, which is why hot honey butter exists. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "Hot Honey Butter Is the Answer, Whatever the Question," 26 Jan. 2018 Bassist Benny Trokan underlines the tunefulness with nimble lines that lope and chug, girding every song with a snappy precision and providing ballast for the strings that gild some of the tracks. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Montreal pop auteur Michael Rault summons the spirit of 70 AM pop radio on It’s a New Day Tonight," 29 June 2018 Scoop out 1/3 cup scented sugar; cover tightly and set aside (for gilding top). Leah Eskin,, "In debate over butter vs. brown butter, brown butter wins in this lemon bar recipe," 7 June 2018 Sonically, the songs thrived on dichotomies of loud/soft and pretty/grating; the effect was less to gild aggression with sweetness than to wring drama and verisimilitude from the feeling of internal conflict. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Linkin Park Gave to Pop Music," 25 June 2018 Vonn won Olympic gold in the downhill at the 2010 Games and, after missing the 2014 Olympics because of a knee injury, this was a chance to gild her stellar racing career with another Olympic gold. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Skier Lindsey Vonn leaves the 2018 Winter Olympics with lots of tweets but just one medal," 22 Feb. 2018 There is much to inspire inside the Whitney, and last night the museum’s Gala and Studio Party nearly gilded the lily. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Artists Turned Out by the Dozen for the Whitney Museum’s Gala and Studio Party," 23 May 2018 Why: The picturesque Bavarian village of Leavenworth, about 120 miles east of Seattle, gilds itself in Christmas lights each winter and welcomes visitors to a winter wonderland., "Detours worth taking on your next road trip," 20 May 2018 Using American ink on English card, the invitations are printed in gold and black, then burnished to bring out the shine, and gilded around the edge. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding: Everything you need to know," 4 May 2018

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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Statistics for gild

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for gild

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

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More Definitions for gild



English Language Learners Definition of gild

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


\ˈgild \
gilded or gilt\ ˈgilt \; gilding

Kids Definition of gild

: to cover with a thin coating of gold gilded doors

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More from Merriam-Webster on gild

Spanish Central: Translation of gild

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

Comments on gild

What made you want to look up gild? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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