Definition of divest in English:



  • 1Deprive (someone) of power, rights, or possessions.

    ‘men are unlikely to be divested of power without a struggle’
    • ‘And Americans are divested of yet another of their hard-won personal liberties.’
    • ‘Paese also said it didn't make sense to divest holdings of stocks because of a company's activities.’
    • ‘She was divested of her gold medal minutes after winning the 800 m in the Seoul Asiad for crossing the lane.’
    • ‘It will, of course, take more than the odd late-season slump to divest Arsenal of their undoubted glamour.’
    • ‘It divests him of a capacity for grandeur we want our leaders to possess.’
    • ‘Six soldiers moved among the ranks of her scouts, divesting them of any visible weapons.’
    • ‘And in ‘The Ascension of Sheep,’ the possibility is raised of the sheep divesting the farmer of his profit.’
    • ‘Guess my brilliant incisive lawyer didn't know what would happen to me when she divested me of my material wealth.’
    • ‘The grant of a licence to occupy, however, will not divest the owner of control.’
    • ‘But we can't give government the unilateral right to divest us of all our rights.’
    deprive, strip, dispossess, relieve
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    1. 1.1 Deprive (something) of a particular quality.
      ‘he has divested the original play of its charm’
      • ‘Forms of Christianity that essentially divest the faith of its classical, historical identity do not fare well.’
      • ‘He fears the Goshree bridges would divest the islands of their charm of being aloof and convert them into a thoroughfare.’
      • ‘It will be there waiting for a chance to attack and divest you of your inner purification.’
      • ‘It divests you of any sentimentality you might have for home since home was never very accommodating in the first place.’
      • ‘The slave status divested the kullars of any personality outside the service of the master.’
      • ‘The pain makes his head throb and divests his brain of any sort of thinking power.’
      • ‘Undeserved appellations and humiliating epithets divest him of his self-esteem.’
      • ‘An hour or two, and we will be divested of light again, going under a quilt of tulle fog and the cold dense black of yet another long winter's night.’
      • ‘Pleasantly in-the-face, the play divests mythological heroes of their aura and presents them in a lacklustre light.’
      • ‘This did not mean that they were divested of all religious significance.’
    2. 1.2no object Rid oneself of something that one no longer wants or requires, such as a business interest or investment.
      ‘the government's policy of divesting itself of state holdings’
      ‘it appears easier to carry on in the business than to divest’
      • ‘He established the tabloid Daily Mirror in 1941, but divested himself of all his newspaper interests in 1958.’
      • ‘In 1998 the Peoples Liberation Army was ordered to divest itself of its considerable and highly regionalised business activities.’
      • ‘Recently, the company has been divesting itself of those businesses to concentrate on its core TV technologies.’
      • ‘And while the Fujian government has divested itself of its stake in Lianhe the relationship remains close.’
      • ‘A second was to order the IOUs to divest themselves of most of their thermal generating assets.’
      • ‘The group was, in any case, seeking to divest itself of operations which are not its core business.’
      • ‘Every day is spent divesting myself of yet more assets to cover the interest on debt repayment.’
      • ‘During the Nineties healthcare firms were keen to divest themselves of their interests in vaccines.’
      • ‘It was time to retire, so he began to divest himself of his businesses.’
      • ‘He informed the committee that he had divested himself of all outside interests.’
    3. 1.3humorous, dated Relieve (someone) of something being worn or carried.
      ‘she divested him of his coat’
      • ‘Then, with a faint blush colouring his cheeks, he divested her of her stained jeans.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Grabbing and groping commenced as the women began divesting the hapless men of their cumbersome armor and battle dress.’
      • ‘She sat them at a table and then neatly divested them of their cloaks.’
      • ‘She directed her gaze heavenward then proceeded to divest him of his coat.’
      strip, relieve, denude
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Early 17th century: alteration of devest, from Old French desvestir, from des- (expressing removal) + Latin vestire (from vestis ‘garment’).