Definition of divest in English:


Syllabification: di·vest
Pronunciation: /dəˈvest
, dīˈvest


[with object]
1Deprive (someone) of power, rights, or possessions: men are unlikely to be divested of power without a struggle
More example sentences
  • She was divested of her gold medal minutes after winning the 800 m in the Seoul Asiad for crossing the lane.
  • But we can't give government the unilateral right to divest us of all our rights.
  • It will, of course, take more than the odd late-season slump to divest Arsenal of their undoubted glamour.
1.1Deprive (something) of a particular quality: he has divested the original play of its charm
More example sentences
  • Pleasantly in-the-face, the play divests mythological heroes of their aura and presents them in a lacklustre light.
  • He fears the Goshree bridges would divest the islands of their charm of being aloof and convert them into a thoroughfare.
  • The pain makes his head throb and divests his brain of any sort of thinking power.
1.2 [no object] Rid oneself of something that one no longer wants or requires, such as a business interest or investment: it appears easier to carry on in the business than to divest the government’s policy of divesting itself of state holdings
More example sentences
  • He established the tabloid Daily Mirror in 1941, but divested himself of all his newspaper interests in 1958.
  • He informed the committee that he had divested himself of all outside interests.
  • During the Nineties healthcare firms were keen to divest themselves of their interests in vaccines.
1.3 dated or humorous Relieve (someone) of something being worn or carried: she divested him of his coat
More example sentences
  • Croft got up and went out into the hall where Jeffries divested him of his lounging jacket and helped him into a black frock coat.
  • Then, with a faint blush colouring his cheeks, he divested her of her stained jeans.
  • She directed her gaze heavenward then proceeded to divest him of his coat.


early 17th century: alteration of devest, from Old French desvestir, from des- (expressing removal) + Latin vestire (from vestis 'garment').

Definition of divest in: