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 The Waddington deal, which the company expects to close within about two months, is the first divestiture since the restructuring plan was announced in January. Cara Lombardo, WSJ, "Newell CEO Spars With Investor: I Don’t Use a Driver, I Drive Myself," 4 May 2018 The divestitures will help generate approximately $10 billion in after-tax proceeds, the company forecasted. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "Investor Carl Icahn to get four board seats at Newell Brands, the maker of Elmer's Glue," 19 Mar. 2018 The newspaper deal, however, is Berkshire’s second divestiture in less than a year, including the sale of an insurance business in late 2019. Time, "Warren Buffett Is Selling His Newspaper Empire After Lamenting Industry Is 'Toast'," 29 Jan. 2020 But one of the five FTC commissioners, Democrat Rohit Chopra, has publicly advocated tougher penalties for companies that become repeat offenders, including management changes and divestiture of business lines. John D. Mckinnon, WSJ, "Advocacy Groups Urge FTC to Pursue Facebook Breakup," 23 Jan. 2019 Next year is going to be painful too because acquisitions and divestitures — a way out — are down significantly, said Kraig Grahmann, head of the firm’s energy finance team. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "What to watch in 2020: Has the magic run out in the Permian Basin?," 2 Jan. 2020 Last year, Fortive closed on a Reverse Morris Trust divestiture of its automation and specialty products platform. 3M Co. agreed to sell its gas- and flame-detection business to Teledyne Technologies Inc. for $230 million. Washington Post, "Industrial Pressure Points Pile Up in Trade War," 8 June 2019 Breen may not be done tinkering with DuPont’s portfolio after the International Flavors deal; Bloomberg News has reported that DuPont is also evaluating a divestiture of its transportation and industrial-chemicals unit. Washington Post, "DuPont’s Breakups Only Lead to More Breakups," 16 Dec. 2019 Even after the divestiture of airwaves to Dish, Sprint would still have a huge amount of spectrum licensed in bands that are perfect for 5G. On its own, Sprint lacked the money to build a 5G network in much of the country. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Sprint and T-Mobile Are Merging: Here’s What You Need to Know," 26 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for divestiture

Time Traveler

The first known use of divestiture was in 1601

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Statistics for divestiture

Last Updated

9 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Divestiture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divestiture. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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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


How to pronounce divestiture (audio)

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

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