To be like “a bird in a gilded cage” is to live in luxury but without freedom: “Because the movie star could not go out without being recognized and pursued, she stayed in her penthouse, living like a bird in a gilded cage.”
The encumbrances or limitations that often accompany material wealth, as in She had furs, jewelry, whatever money could buy, but was trapped in a gilded cage. This metaphoric expression indicating that riches cannot buy happiness was popularized (and possibly coined) in a song, “A Bird in a Gilded Cage” (1990; lyrics by Arthur J. Lamb, music by Harry von Tilzer), about a young girl marrying for wealth instead of love and paying for luxury with a life of regret.
[gil-der] /ˈgɪl dər/ noun 1. a person or thing that . [gil-der] /ˈgɪl dər/ noun 1. . [gil-der] /ˈgɪl dər/ noun 1. a silver or nickel coin and monetary unit of the Netherlands until the was adopted, equal to 100 cents; florin. Abbreviation: Gld., f., fl. 2. a former gold coin of the Netherlands; florin. […]
[gild-hawl] /ˈgɪldˌhɔl/ noun 1. . [gild-hawl] /ˈgɪldˌhɔl/ noun 1. (in Britain) the hall built or used by a guild or corporation for its assemblies; town hall. /ˈɡɪldˌhɔːl/ noun 1. (Brit) 2. Also gildhall. the meeting place of a medieval guild
[gil-ding] /ˈgɪl dɪŋ/ noun 1. the application of . 2. the gold leaf or other material with which something is . 3. the golden surface produced by the application of . 4. something used to create a deceptively pleasing, impressive, or alluring aspect or character. [gild] /gɪld/ verb (used with object), gilded or gilt, gilding. […]
[gil-ee-uh d] /ˈgɪl i əd/ noun 1. a district of ancient Palestine, E of the Jordan River, in present N Jordan. 2. Mount, a mountain in NW Jordan. 3596 feet (1096 meters). /ˈɡɪlɪˌæd/ noun 1. a historic mountainous region east of the River Jordan, rising over 1200 m (4000 ft) /ˈɡɪlɪˌæd/ noun 1. (Old Testament) […]