di·​ves·​ti·​ture | \ dī-ˈve-stə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce divestiture (audio) , -chər, də-, chiefly Southern -t(y)u̇(ə)r\

Definition of divestiture

1 : the act of divesting
2 : the compulsory transfer of title or disposal of interests (such as stock in a corporation) upon government order

Examples of divestiture in a Sentence

Divestitures are used to break up monopolies. Before divestiture, the telephone company monopolized the state.

Recent Examples on the Web

Whether more divestitures could again prove to be the spark eBay needs remains to be seen. Laura Forman, WSJ, "Can Activist Lightning Strike Twice for eBay?," 22 Jan. 2019 Swan referred to Intel’s divestiture of McAfee and its sale of Wind River as indicators that Intel plans to get back to basics. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel CEO Swan says chip shortages will never happen again on his watch," 25 Apr. 2019 Now, PayPal either has to prove that the deal isn’t anticompetitive or offer remedies such as divestitures or other moves to try to appease the CMA. Ben Dummett, WSJ, "PayPal’s iZettle Deal Raises U.K. Anti-Trust Concerns," 26 Nov. 2018 Pai's statement did not say which station divestitures would break the law. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai deals major setback to Sinclair/Tribune merger," 16 July 2018 The closing of the divestiture is dependent on the closing of the CVS-Aetna deal. Allison Prang, WSJ, "Aetna to Sell Medicare Part D Drug Business to WellCare Health," 27 Sep. 2018 The divestiture proposal will be filed in federal court and opened to public comment for 60 days. Marcy Gordon, BostonGlobe.com, "Bayer selling $9b in agriculture business ahead of Monsanto merger," 30 May 2018 Organic revenue, which excludes currency swings, acquisitions and divestitures, increased 6% from a year ago. Aisha Al-muslim, WSJ, "Coca-Cola Gets Lift From a Perennial Laggard: Diet Coke," 30 Oct. 2018 The divestiture of GE’s Baker Hughes oil and gas business was less of a surprise. Jon Chesto, BostonGlobe.com, "GE to shrink again with cuts," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'divestiture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of divestiture

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for divestiture

divest + -iture (as in investiture)

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Statistics for divestiture

Last Updated

24 May 2019

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Time Traveler for divestiture

The first known use of divestiture was in 1601

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More Definitions for divestiture



Financial Definition of divestiture

What It Is

A divestiture or divestment is the reduction of an asset or business through sale, liquidation, exchange, closure, or any other means for financial or ethical reasons. It is the opposite of investment.

How It Works

Let's assume Company XYZ is the parent of a food company, a car company, and a clothing company. If for some reason Company XYZ wants out of the car business, it might divest the business by selling it to another company, exchanging it for another asset, or closing down the car company.

Why It Matters

Optimists often look at divestitures as ways to streamline (i.e., "get back to basics"), reduce debt, and enhance shareholder value. Pessimists may view them as concessions that the divested assets were not performing well.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of divestiture

finance : the act of selling stock, property, etc., because of a government order


di·​ves·​ti·​ture | \ dī-ˈves-ti-ˌchu̇r, də-, -chər How to pronounce divestiture (audio) \

Legal Definition of divestiture

1 : the sale or transfer of title to a property (as an operating division) under court order (as in bankruptcy)
2 : the sale of an asset (as a business division) that is unprofitable, does not enhance a corporate restructuring, or is felt to be morally reprehensible

More from Merriam-Webster on divestiture

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with divestiture

Britannica English: Translation of divestiture for Arabic Speakers

Comments on divestiture

What made you want to look up divestiture? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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