Visit the forum if you have a language query!
gild the lily
Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
The hardest habit of all to break is the terrible habit of happiness.Theodosia Garrison
- "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess."
Third person singular
- (idiomatic) To embellish or improve something unnecessarily; to add superfluous attributes to something.
- 1920, G. K. Chesterton, The New Jerusalem, ch. 4,
- If we are critical of the petty things they do to glorify great things, they would find quite as much to criticise (as in Kensington Gardens) in the great things we do to glorify petty things. And if we wonder at the way in which they seem to gild the lily, they would wonder quite as much at the way we gild the weed.
Elsewhere on the web