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

While Charles received the title in 1968 via letters patent, his formal investiture would not take place until the follow year. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Just Arrived at Buckingham Palace Wearing a Green Look," 5 Mar. 2019 If the investiture fails this month, in theory Mr Sánchez could try again in September. The Economist, "Spain stumbles towards a government," 18 July 2019 From balcony appearances to state banquets and investitures, the palace is frequently in the background as history is made. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Buckingham Palace's New Exhibit on Queen Victoria Highlights How She Transformed the Royal Residence," 17 July 2019 In various public statements since the investiture of Sheriff Pettway in January 2019, General Marshall has voiced criticism of him over his failure to use sheriff’s funds to enforce the state’s misdemeanor gambling laws,’’ the suit reads. Carol Robinson |,, "Alabama sheriff’s brother sues Attorney General over $240,000 seized in bingo feud," 10 July 2019 Her injuries caused her to miss a formal ceremony Thursday for the investiture of the court’s newest member, Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice, Is Discharged From Hospital," 9 Nov. 2018 The exhibit features a photograph of Thomas at his Supreme Court investiture on Nov. 1, 1991, a picture of him as an undergraduate at the College of the Holy Cross and a copy of Jet magazine with his image on the cover. Washington Post, "Clarence Thomas says a Smithsonian exhibit he hasn’t seen is incorrect. (It’s not.)," 13 June 2019 Her investiture took place yesterday at Buckingham Palace, according to Town & Country. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton's Stylist Natasha Archer Receives an Impressive Royal Honor," 3 May 2019 The prestigious investiture ceremony, which tapped a total of 544 women (47% of the total inductees), took place at Buckingham Palace. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William Presents Glenda Bailey with Her Damehood at Buckingham Palace," 9 May 2019

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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Statistics for investiture

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for investiture

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

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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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Comments on investiture

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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