\ ˈvest How to pronounce vest (audio) \

Definition of vest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a sleeveless garment for the upper body usually worn over a shirt
b : a protective usually sleeveless garment (such as a life preserver) that extends to the waist
c : an insulated sleeveless waist-length garment often worn under or in place of a coat
2a chiefly British : a man's sleeveless undershirt
b : a knitted undershirt for women
3 : a plain or decorative piece used to fill in the front neckline of a woman's outer garment (such as a blouse or dress)
4 archaic
a : a loose outer garment : robe
b : clothing, garb


vested; vesting; vests

Definition of vest (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to grant or endow with a particular authority, right, or property the plan vests workers with pension benefits after 10 years of service
b : to place or give into the possession or discretion of some person or authority especially : to give to a person a legally fixed immediate right of present or future enjoyment of (such as an estate)
2 : to clothe with or as if with a garment especially : to robe in ecclesiastical vestments

intransitive verb

1 : to become legally vested
2 : to put on garments or vestments

Other Words from vest


vestlike \ ˈvest-​ˌlīk How to pronounce vest (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for vest

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of vest in a Sentence

Verb “By the power vested in me by the state,” intoned the minister, “I now pronounce that you are married” vested the power to access their retirement accounts with their attorney
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Downs, 47, sat at a table in Fairbanks Superior Court dressed in a button-down shirt and sweater vest. Christopher Williams, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Jan. 2022 Then, a worker in a safety vest waved them off, said Ms. Becktold, who lives in Berkeley, Calif. New York Times, 31 Dec. 2021 He was taught to make explosives, wrap them in a vest and hook them to a detonator. Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2021 And when Wooten emerged onto the stage — clad in a natty coral-colored vest and tie with a pale pink shirt, with his signature gray knit hat on his head — the crowd went wild with cheers., 29 Oct. 2021 Cleanup crews that had swarmed the 25-acre marsh over the past week had moved on, but a woman in a neon yellow vest and rain boots walked slowly along the water line. Los Angeles Times, 8 Oct. 2021 As Haitian migrants stepped off a white U.S. Border Patrol van in the Texas border city of Del Rio after learning they'd be allowed to stay in the country for now, a man in a neon yellow vest stood nearby and quietly surveyed them. Sarah Blake Morgan, The Enquirer, 27 Sep. 2021 Instead, a worker in a yellow reflective vest and a man in old clothes both tried, self-consciously, to get out of the way of my photographs. Rachel Cohen, Travel + Leisure, 19 Sep. 2021 President Bush throwing out the first pitch in a bulletproof vest. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Another option is to vest greater responsibility and accountability for EMS response times and service levels with counties and state government or even new regional bodies. Rob Henken, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 Nov. 2021 But that match won't vest until your 25th month of service, at which point the government will bump up its match to a full 5% of your basic pay going forward. Jeanne Sahadi, CNN, 11 Nov. 2021 Wedbush Analyst Daniel Ives calculated that Musk has about $10 billion in taxes coming due on stock options that vest next summer. CBS News, 11 Nov. 2021 The aggressive targets mean that many of Scaringe’s options may never vest. Scott Carpenter, Fortune, 10 Nov. 2021 The company plans for its options to vest after four years. Mark Maurer, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2021 Most companies will allow a constructive trust to be created pursuant to a divorce decree that can hold the non-employee spouse’s share of the options; when the shares vest and if they can be sold, the non-employee spouse would be notified. Kimberly Nelson, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 Even in 2026 and ‘27, Allen’s guarantees vest a year ahead of time, increasing his likelihood of seeing the contract most, if not all, of the way through., 14 Aug. 2021 Boards of directors use stock options that vest over time at various prices as a way to align CEO performance with the company’s share price. Grace Lieberman, Dallas News, 15 Aug. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of vest


1613, in the meaning defined at sense 4


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1b

History and Etymology for vest


French veste, from It, from Latin vestis garment


Middle English, from Anglo-French vestir to clothe, invest, vest, from Latin vestire to clothe, from vestis clothing, garment — more at wear

Learn More About vest

Time Traveler for vest

Time Traveler

The first known use of vest was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near vest

vessel ton



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for vest

Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for vest



English Language Learners Definition of vest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a sleeveless piece of clothing with buttons down the front that is worn over a shirt and under a suit jacket
: a special piece of clothing that you wear on your upper body for protection or safety



English Language Learners Definition of vest (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give (someone) the legal right or power to do something or to own land or property


\ ˈvest How to pronounce vest (audio) \

Kids Definition of vest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a sleeveless garment usually worn under a suit coat


vested; vesting

Kids Definition of vest (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to place or give into the possession or control of some person or authority The Constitution vests the Congress with certain powers.
2 : to clothe in vestments



Legal Definition of vest

transitive verb

1 : to place in the possession, discretion, or province of some person or authority all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United StatesU.S. Constitution art. I a timely notice of appeal vests jurisdiction in the appeals court specifically : to give to a person a fixed and immediate right of present or future enjoyment of (as an estate) an interest vested in the beneficiary
2 : to grant or endow with a particular authority, right, or property vest a judge with discretion

intransitive verb

: to become vested specifically : to entitle one unconditionally to the payment of pension benefits upon termination or retirement his pension interest will vest after ten years with the company — compare mature

History and Etymology for vest

Anglo-French vestir, literally, to clothe, from Old French, from Latin vestire

More from Merriam-Webster on vest

Nglish: Translation of vest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vest for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!