Something gilded looks like gold, whether it is or not. If you've heard the expression "all that glitters is not gold," it's especially true of anything gilded.

You might have first heard the word gilded in the name of a historical period in the U.S. known as The Gilded Age; the name suggests that the appearance of wealth concealed actual poverty. Gilded is often used to point out illusion in this way, but if no illusion is intended, it need not be a negative word. I think the gilded doves in your painting are especially lovely.

Definitions of gilded
  1. adjective
    made from or covered with gold
    gilded icons”
    synonyms: gold, golden
    metal, metallic
    containing or made of or resembling or characteristic of a metal
  2. adjective
    having the deep slightly brownish color of gold
    synonyms: aureate, gilt, gold, golden
    being or having or characterized by hue
  3. adjective
    rich and superior in quality
    gilded dining rooms”
    synonyms: deluxe, grand, luxurious, opulent, princely, sumptuous
    suggestive of or characterized by great expense
  4. adjective
    based on pretense; deceptively pleasing
    “the gilded and perfumed but inwardly rotten nobility”
    synonyms: meretricious, specious
    lacking sincerity
Word Family
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