gild the lily

gild the lily
verb
1. adorn unnecessarily (something that is already beautiful)
Syn: ↑paint the lily
Hypernyms: ↑decorate, ↑adorn, ↑grace, ↑ornament, ↑embellish, ↑beautify
Verb Frames:
-

Somebody ——s

2. make unnecessary additions to what is already complete
Syn: ↑paint the lily
Hypernyms: ↑add
Verb Frames:
-

Somebody ——s

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phrasal
: to add excessive or unnecessary ornamentation to something beautiful in its own right : paint the lily

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gild the lily see under ↑lily
• • •
Main Entry:gild

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gild the lily phrase
used for saying that someone has spoiled a good thing by trying to improve it
Thesaurus: to have a bad effect, or to reduce a good effectsynonym
Main entry: gild

* * *

try to improve what is already beautiful or excellent
Origin:
misquotation, from ‘To gild refined gold, to paint the lily; to throw perfume on the violet, ... is wasteful, and ridiculous excess’ (Shakespeare's King John vi. ii. 11)

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gild the lily
: to add decoration to something that is already beautiful : to try to improve something that does not need to be improved

Putting ice cream on this delicious cake is just gilding the lily.

• • •
Main Entry:gild
————————
gild the lily — see gild
• • •
Main Entry:lily

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gild the ˈlily idiom
to spoil sth that is already good or beautiful by trying to improve it

Some people add a little brandy to the recipe but I feel this is gilding the lily.

Main entry:gildidiom

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • gild\ the\ lily — • gild the lily • paint the lily v. phr. To add unnecessarily to something already beautiful or good enough. To talk about a beautiful sunset is to gild the lily. For the beautiful girl to use makeup would be to gild the lily. Frank s father is a …   Словарь американских идиом

  • gild the lily — If you gild the lily, you decorate something that is already ornate …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • gild the lily — ► gild the lily try to improve what is already beautiful or excellent. [ORIGIN: misquotation of a line from Shakespeare s King John VI. ii.] Main Entry: ↑gild …   English terms dictionary

  • gild the lily — meaning ‘to try to improve what is already as beautiful as it can be’, is a not quite accurate quotation from Shakespeare, King John iv.ii.11: To gilde refined Gold, to paint the Lilly; To throw a perfume on the Violet, [etc.] …   Modern English usage

  • gild the lily — also[paint the lily] {v. phr.} To add unnecessarily to something already beautiful or good enough. * /To talk about a beautiful sunset is to gild the lily./ * /For the beautiful girl to use makeup would be to gild the lily./ * /Frank s father is… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • gild the lily — also[paint the lily] {v. phr.} To add unnecessarily to something already beautiful or good enough. * /To talk about a beautiful sunset is to gild the lily./ * /For the beautiful girl to use makeup would be to gild the lily./ * /Frank s father is… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • gild the lily —    A phrase meaning to add unnecessary ornamentation to something already beautiful. Gild the lily is attributed to Shakespeare, but there is a catch the phrase used in Shakespeare s play King John is actually to paint the lily …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • gild the lily —    If you gild the lily, you decorate something that is already ornate.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • gild the lily —  The passage from Shakespeare’s King John is: To gild refined gold, to paint the lily ... Is wasteful and ridiculous excess. Thus it is both wrong and hackneyed to speak of gilding the lily in the sense of overdoing something …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • gild the lily —    The passage from Shakespeare s King John is To gild refined gold, to paint the lily. . ./Is wasteful and ridiculous excess. Thus it is both wrong and resorting to a woeful cliche to speak of gilding the lily in the sense of overdoing something …   Dictionary of troublesome word

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