gold plate

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See also: gold-plate


Alternative forms[edit]


gold plate (plural gold plates)

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning. a plate made of, or coloured gold
  2. a thin layer of gold applied to the surface of an object, often by an electrolytic method


gold plate (third-person singular simple present gold plates, present participle gold plating, simple past and past participle gold plated)

  1. to apply gold plate to an object, to plate with gold
  2. (idiomatic, of projects) to incorporate costly or otherwise excessive features or refinements unnecessarily, to overengineer
    • 1991, Advisory Commission on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing, “Regulatory Barriers in the Suburbs”, in Thomas H. Kean, Thomas Ludlow Ashley, editors, Not in My Back Yard: Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing:[1], DIANE Publishing, published 1993, ISBN 9781563474729, Excessive Subdivision Controls, page 2-8:
      Some communities gold-plate their subdivision ordinances because they know that developers, rather than the local voters, are paying.
    • 2001, Walter Edward Hammond, Design Methodologies for Space Transportation Systems[2], volume 1, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, ISBN 9781563474729, page 771:
      To help reduce the “sticker shock,” stick to what we really need and do not gold plate the requirements.
    • 2008, Wayne Turk, Common Sense Project Management[3], American Society for Quality, ISBN 9780873897389, Chapter 10: An Introduction, Continued Project Management 101, Part 2, page 59:
      Exceed expectations. This sounds contradictory to the earlier advice not to accept extra or unnecessary tasks and not to gold plate requirements, but it is not.
  3. (of laws, regulations, etc) to embellish, to extend beyond its intended scope, especially so as to become stifling, or rigid and inflexible
    • 2006, House of Lords, quoting Bill Callaghan, Government Policy on the Management of Risk: 5th Report of Session 2005-06[4], Volume II: Evidence, The Stationery Office, ISBN 9780104008690, 17 January 2006 - Mr Bill Callaghan and Mr Geoffrey Podger; Q276, page 84:
      I do not think that we gold plate European regulations although I think others, insurers and other industry bodies, may gold plate on our behalf.
    • 2008, Simon Marsden, Strategic Environmental Assessment in International and European Law: A Practitioner's Guide[5], Earthscan, ISBN 9781844074891, Part II - European Law, Chapter 12 Comparisons and Conclusions, page 282:
      Devolved administrations in individual jurisdictions can always choose to gold plate requirements by doing more than a treaty of directive requires, subject to the constitutional provisions under which they were created.
    • 2009, Wim Voermans, Henk Snijders, Stefan Vogenauer, editors, Content and Meaning of National Law in the Context of Transnational Law[6], Sellier. European Law Publishers, ISBN 9783866531277, Gold-Plating and Double Banking: an Overrated Problem?, page 84:
      In order to find our whether the UK tends to gold plate (and double bank) more than other EU countries – as was suggested by some commentators – the Davidson Review adopted a multi-stage approach.
    • 2010, Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development, “The interface between members states and the European Union”, in Better Regulation in Europe: Netherlands 2010[7], OCED Publishing, ISBN 9789264084513, page 116:
      For example the packaging directive was gold plated in transposition.

Usage notes[edit]

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