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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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 That same month the Queen's eldest son, Charles, was declared Prince of Wales at an investiture ceremony held at Caernarfon Castle. Jonathan Glancey, CNN, 17 Sep. 2022 Queen Elizabeth announced her intention to make Charles Prince of Wales in 1958, and his investiture ceremony took place in 1969. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 9 Sep. 2022 The Queen crowns Charles during his investiture ceremony to become Prince of Wales, at Caernarvon Castle. Alex Apatoff, Peoplemag, 8 Sep. 2022 The Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman, who is the first British woman to run a Hollywood studio, received her investiture from Prince Charles at Windsor Castle in England on Tuesday. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 13 July 2022 The holiday marks the investiture of Leopold I as the first Belgian king in 1831, an event considered to be the beginning of the modern kingdom of Belgium. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 21 July 2022 During the meeting, William carried out a duty on behalf of his grandmother the Queen — an investiture of Jubilee medals, honoring the careers of the heads of the various emergency services and the chief medical officer. Erin Hill,, 22 Mar. 2022 During the week, there will be a garden party attended by Prince Charles, Edward and Sophie and Princess Anne, and an investiture ceremony of Scottish people receiving honors from the Queen. Simon Perry,, 27 June 2022 Charles has formally been Prince of Wales since his investiture ceremony in 1969. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 15 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Investiture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for investiture


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

More from Merriam-Webster on investiture

Nglish: Translation of investiture for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about investiture


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