in·​ves·​ti·​ture | \ in-ˈve-stə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce investiture (audio) , -chər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r \

Definition of investiture

1 : the act of establishing in office or ratifying
2 : something that covers or adorns

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Did You Know?

In its original meaning, an investiture was the clothing of a new officeholder in garments that symbolized power. The Middle Ages saw much debate over the investiture of bishops by kings and emperors. These rulers felt that high religious offices were theirs to give as rewards for someone's loyal service or as bribes for someone's future support; the popes, on the other hand, regarded these investitures as the improper buying and selling of church offices. The investiture struggle caused tension between popes and monarchs and even led to wars.

Examples of investiture in a Sentence

the investiture of the Prince of Wales the investiture of a new member of parliament
Recent Examples on the Web Curry will have her investiture ceremony as new head of the diocese on Jan. 9, 2021. al, "First woman bishop takes office for Diocese of Alabama," 27 June 2020 The queen, who frequently wears gloves in public anyway, was photographed wearing long gloves while awarding a medal during an investiture last week. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus: Queen Elizabeth II postpones scheduled appearances, Prince Charles delays trip," 13 Mar. 2020 Cornyn noted there have never been as many investitures happening quite as fast as those in the last three years. Peggy O’hare,, "Pulliam vows to be ‘positive force’ as U.S. district judge," 20 Feb. 2020 Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne also carry out energy-draining investitures on her behalf. Simon Perry,, "Is Queen Elizabeth Planning to Retire When She Turns 95 in Favor of Son Prince Charles?," 5 Dec. 2019 The son, a former state district judge, administered his father’s oath of office and the father spoke at his son’s September 2018 investiture, also attended by the wife and three children of the then-new top federal prosecutor in east Texas. Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Work from home, says U.S. attorney. His Lt. Gov. father says seniors should sacrifice selves," 24 Mar. 2020 Sanderson was to have officially begun her term with an investiture on March 31, just ahead of National Poetry Month, which is in April. Deborah Martin,, "New San Antonio poet laureate Andrea ‘Vocab’ Sanderson is on the job," 24 Mar. 2020 In fact, the prince’s investiture was not universally welcomed. Christina Boyle,, "Britain’s Prince Charles and Wales mark 50 years together," 5 July 2019 Prince William’s comments came the same day that his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, was seen wearing gloves during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace which was believed to be a precaution against the coronavirus. Sarah Midkiff,, "Prince William Jokes About Coronavirus In Shocking Video," 25 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'investiture.' 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 investiture

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for investiture

Middle English, from Medieval Latin investitura, from investitus, past participle of investire

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Time Traveler for investiture

Time Traveler

The first known use of investiture was in the 14th century

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Statistics for investiture

Last Updated

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Investiture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for investiture


How to pronounce investiture (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of investiture

formal : a formal ceremony at which someone is placed in an office or given an official rank


in·​ves·​ti·​ture | \ in-ˈves-tə-ˌchu̇r, -chər, -ˌtyu̇r How to pronounce investiture (audio) \

Legal Definition of investiture

1 : the act of establishing in office

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