paint the lily

Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.
Related to paint the lily: gild the lily
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.paint the lily - adorn unnecessarily (something that is already beautiful)
adorn, decorate, grace, ornament, embellish, beautify - make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.; "Decorate the room for the party"; "beautify yourself for the special day"
2.paint the lily - make unnecessary additions to what is already complete
add - make an addition (to); join or combine or unite with others; increase the quality, quantity, size or scope of; "We added two students to that dorm room"; "She added a personal note to her letter"; "Add insult to injury"; "Add some extra plates to the dinner table"
References in periodicals archive ?
Or, as Shakespeare wrote hundreds of years ago, before the dawn of Botox: "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily.
Although Paddy Aspell rides Paint The Lily for near neighbour Fred Watson in the Racecourse Video Services Novices' Handicap Hurdle, it doesn't put me off General Hardi from John Wade's yard with whom the jockey is closely associated.
If our work is littered with qualifiers whose only function is, as Shakespeare wrote, "to gild refined gold, to paint the lily," we should kick the qualifier habit.