Simple Definition of divest
finance : to sell (something valuable, such as property or stocks)
Examples of divest in a sentence
The company is divesting 8 of its 20 stores.
We may have to divest assets to raise capital.
Did You Know?
Divest is one of many English words that come from the Latin verb vestire (to clothe) and ultimately from the noun vestis (clothing, garment). Others include vest, vestment, invest, and travesty. Divest and its older form devest can mean to unclothe or to remove the clothing of, but the word had broader applications even when it was first being used in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the opening scene of Shakespeare's King Lear, Lear uses the term to mean rid oneself of or put aside:
"Tell me, my daughters
(Since now we will divest us both of rule,
Interest of territory, cares of state),
Which of you shall we say doth love us most?" In addition to clothing, one can be divested of power, authority, possessions, or burdens."
Origin of divest
alteration of devest
First Known Use: 1623
Rhymes with divest
abreast, abscessed, appressed, armrest, arrest, at best, at rest, attest, backrest, beau geste, bed rest, behest, bequest, blood test, congest, conquest, contest, crow's nest, depressed, detest, devest, digest, distressed, egest, eighth rest, field-test, flight-test, footrest, gabfest, half rest, hard-pressed, headrest, high-test, hillcrest, hope chest, houseguest, imprest, incest, infest, ingest, inquest, interest, invest, Key West, lovefest, love nest, Mae West, mare's nest, Midwest, molest, northwest, patch test, posttest, pretest, professed, protest, redbreast, repressed, request, revest, road test, scratch test, screen test, sea chest, skin test, slop chest, slugfest, southwest, spot test, steam chest, stress test, suggest, Trieste, t-test, unblessed, undressed, unrest, unstressed, war chest, whole rest, Wild West
Legal Definition of divest
: to deprive or dispossess (oneself) of property through divestiture
Origin of divest
Anglo-French devestir, literally, to undress, from Old French desvestir, from de(s)-, prefix marking reversal + vestir to dress, from Latin vestire
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