Definition of divest
- divesting assets to raise capital
- was divested of his rights
- divesting herself of all her worldly possessions
- encouraged the university to divest itself from fossil fuels
- Christmas trees divested of their ornaments
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The company is divesting 8 of its 20 stores.
We may have to divest assets to raise capital.
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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."
First Known Use: 1623See Words from the same year
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