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
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
The company is divesting 8 of its 20 stores.
We may have to divest assets to raise capital.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'divest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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
finance : to sell (something valuable, such as property or stocks)
What made you want to look up divest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!
Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!TAKE THE QUIZ
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ