vested interest


Definition of vested interest

1 : an interest (such as a title to an estate) carrying a legal right of present or future enjoyment specifically : a right vested in an employee under a pension plan
2 : a special concern or stake in maintaining or influencing a condition, arrangement, or action especially for selfish ends
3 : one having a vested interest in something specifically : a group enjoying benefits from an existing economic or political privilege

Examples of vested interest in a Sentence

She has a vested interest in seeing the business sold, as she'll make a profit from the sale.

Recent Examples on the Web

As not only an engineer but also an athlete, Swanson has a vested interest in athletic shoe design., "West Linn grad returns to the Portland metro area for job at Nike," 17 Aug. 2019 In addition, Polish powers, opposed to Russia’s interference in their country, also had a vested interest in undermining the new empress. National Geographic, "This 'pretender princess' tried to steal Catherine the Great's throne," 6 Aug. 2019 Mysterious authority figure running the place with a vested interest in main character who definitely knows more than they’re saying about the threat unfolding? Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Fire Emblem: Three Houses is secretly the best Harry Potter game," 26 July 2019 The sad reality is that there is no shortage of individuals and entities with a vested interest in exaggerating racial tensions in the U.S.—from civil-rights organizations to corporate diversity officers to professors of race and gender studies. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Hate Crime Hoaxes Are More Common Than You Think," 25 June 2019 ProPublica has a vested interest in developing more minority journalists. ProPublica, "Calling College Journalists of Color! Apply for ProPublica’s Emerging Reporters Program.," 29 July 2019 Allie Quigley, the star of the Italian squad, had a vested interest in that hand. Joan Niesen,, "Meet the Vanderquigs: How the Chicago Sky Stars Make Their Unique Relationship Work," 25 July 2019 Sign-up Bringing in outside specialists with a fresh perspective and no vested interest in a project should be a model for major public works nationwide, just not at the last minute, the deans said. Paul Berger, WSJ, "How Engineers Working Pro Bono Solved New York’s Toughest Subway Problem," 6 Jan. 2019 As a former colonial power, Britain had a vested interest in maintaining political stability in the region. Janine Di Giovanni, The New York Review of Books, "Sierra Leone, 2000: A Case History in Successful Interventionism," 7 June 2019

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

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vested interest

Statistics for vested interest

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vested interest

The first known use of vested interest was in 1818

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vested interest

vested interest


Financial Definition of vested interest

What It Is

A vested interest is a right of ownership which is not dependent on something else.

How It Works

When a possession, ownership interest or the use of tangible property is present and unencumbered by any conditions, it is known as a vested interest.  The clear and unencumbered interest is not reliant or contingent on anything other conditions or events.  For example, a vested interest can mean stock or options that are transferred and available to the recipient.  A vested interest in real estate means the owner of the property.  A vested interest in a pension plan, for example, may mean that the employee is qualified to take the benefits of the pension plan, including the contributions by the employer.

Why It Matters

A vested interest in tangible property represents an important asset on a company's or personal balance sheet.  Understanding the conditions of a potential borrower's vestment (i.e. establishing a vested interest) in a particular asset is an important part of the due diligence process for a creditor.

Source: Investing Answers

vested interest


English Language Learners Definition of vested interest

: a personal or private reason for wanting something to be done or to happen

vested interest

Legal Definition of vested interest

see interest sense 1

More from Merriam-Webster on vested interest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vested interest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vested interest

Comments on vested interest

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


to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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