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See also: goldplated and gold plated


Alternative forms[edit]


gold-plated (not comparable)

  1. Having a thin layer of gold applied to the surface, often by an electrolytic method.
  2. (of projects, systems, etc) incorporating costly or otherwise excessive features or refinements unnecessarily; to be over-engineered
    • 2001, United States Congress, quoting Senator Max Baucus, Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 107th Congress, First Session[1], Volume 147—Part 4: March 27, 2001 to April 23, 2001, Government Printing Office, Congressional Record—Senate April 3, 2001, page 5264:
      We have to do enough that works. Not a gold-plated program, but a solid one
    • 2008, David Starkie, “Testing the Regulatory Model”, in Aviation Markets: Studies on Competition and Regulatory Reform[2], Ashgate Publishing, ISBN 9780754673880, page 108:
      The consequence of this regulatory approach is that it has provided an opportunity for airport companies to exercise their market power indirectly through higher-than-necessary levels of investment in capacity and in costly gold-plated investment.
    • 2008, Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, “Economic and Policy Instruments to Promote Adapation”, in Shardul Agrawala, Samuel Frankhauser, editors, Economic Aspects of Adaption to Climate Change: Costs, Benefits and Policy[3], OECD Publishing, ISBN 9789264046030, Public private partnerships, page 125:
      There are countless examples of gold-plated or excessive infrastructure projects — whether publically or privately financed.
    • 1988, Sadhan Choudhury, “Concepts of Project Management”, in Project Management[4], Tata McGraw-Hill, ISBN 9780074600689, page 33:
      One often hears of gold plated designs with reference to our engineers lack of concern for cost.
  3. (of laws, regulations, etc) to be embellished to excess, especially so as to be stifling, or rigid and inflexible,
    • 2002 January 29, Peter Ainsworth, “Farming and Food Commission Report”, in parliamentary debates, House of Commons[5], column 155:
      Has society introduced swathes of new gold-plated regulations?
    • 2007, House of Lords: European Union Committee, quoting Baroness Gale, Modernising European Union Labour Law: Has the UK Anything to Gain?, Report with Evidence, 22nd Report of Session 2006-07[6], The Stationery Office, ISBN 9780104851715, 29 March 2007: Ms Susan Anderston and Mr Tom Moran, page 32:
      The UK has this gold-plated approach, is that beneficial to the UK in terms of the rest of Europe and in terms of the business and the employees? Do we benefit to a greater degree by adopting such an approach

Usage notes[edit]

The sense relating to laws and regulations is particularly used in relation to European Union directives

Related terms[edit]



  1. simple past tense and past participle of gold-plate