American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The art or process of applying gilt to a surface.
- n. Gold leaf or a paint containing or simulating gold; gilt.
- n. Something used to give a superficially attractive appearance.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The art of overlaying or decorating with gold. A great number of processes are employed, which may be divided into two chief classes, mechanical and chemical. The first includes all the common methods of gilding by laying gold-leaf or gold-powder upon an adhesive surface, as in sign-painting, house-decorating, etc. The soldering of gold to a cheaper metal and rolling both down to a thin sheet is properly gold-plating. The chemical processes in gilding include electroplating with gold, by applying gold in an amalgam and afterward driving off the mercury by heat, applying gold to metals by dipping them in a bath of some solution of gold, and enameling with gold on porcelain or glass, the gold being put on the ware as a paint and afterward vitrified in a furnace.
- n. The art or practice of producing the appearance of gilding by the use of other materials than gold. Compare gild, verb
- n. That which is laid on in overlaying with gold; hence, any superficial coating used to give a better appearance to a thing than is natural to it.
- n. A rich golden color imparted to herrings by the use of hard wood only in smoking them.
- v. present participle of gild.
- n. uncountable The art of applying gold leaf to a surface
- n. uncountable Gold leaf
- n. countable A coating of gold, etc.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The art or practice of overlaying or covering with gold leaf; also, a thin coating or wash of gold, or of that which resembles gold.
- n. Gold in leaf, powder, or liquid, for application to any surface.
- n. Any superficial coating or appearance, as opposed to what is solid and genuine.
- n. a coating of gold or of something that looks like gold
“This final act of generosity is what she calls gilding the lily.”
“The phrase gilding the lily comes to mind but it's more like drenching- in pure picante goodness!”
“WASHINGTON was old, dignified and wealthy; and these factitious advantages, never to be despised in gilding a contemporary renown, possessed, unquestionably, a greater influence upon the men of his times, than they would exert among us to-day.”
“It was late when we arrived at Cocoyotla, but we did not go to rest without visiting the beautiful chapel, which we had omitted to do on our last visit; it is very rich in gilding and ornaments, very large and in good taste.”
“It was so completely enveloped in Dutch gilding that I did not at first recognize an old acquaintance, but wondered what those golden crowns and images could be.”
“While whole milk is the standard prescription for hot chocolate, the idea of gilding the lily with something a little richer is an undeniably attractive one.”
“Besides, that which is lost in gilding, which is fooled away upon our Lady of Loretto, and other places, and which has been swallowed up by the avaricious sea must be counted.”
“The villa of cardinal Alexander Albani is light, gay, and airy; yet the rooms are too small, and too much decorated with carving and gilding, which is a kind of gingerbread work.”
“They are electro-gilt -- that is, the gilding is fixed on them by means of a bath through which an electric current passes.”
“To separate them, take out the cork and let the dark liquid flow out: when it has disappeared, stop the tube immediately with the cork, and what remains in the tube is fit for use, and may be called gilding liquid.”
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