Definition of divest in US English:

divest

verb

[with object]
  • 1Deprive (someone) of power, rights, or possessions.

    ‘men are unlikely to be divested of power without a struggle’
    • ‘It divests him of a capacity for grandeur we want our leaders to possess.’
    • ‘Guess my brilliant incisive lawyer didn't know what would happen to me when she divested me of my material wealth.’
    • ‘And Americans are divested of yet another of their hard-won personal liberties.’
    • ‘But we can't give government the unilateral right to divest us of all our rights.’
    • ‘She was divested of her gold medal minutes after winning the 800 m in the Seoul Asiad for crossing the lane.’
    • ‘The grant of a licence to occupy, however, will not divest the owner of control.’
    • ‘Six soldiers moved among the ranks of her scouts, divesting them of any visible weapons.’
    • ‘Paese also said it didn't make sense to divest holdings of stocks because of a company's activities.’
    • ‘It will, of course, take more than the odd late-season slump to divest Arsenal of their undoubted glamour.’
    • ‘And in ‘The Ascension of Sheep,’ the possibility is raised of the sheep divesting the farmer of his profit.’
    deprive, strip, dispossess, relieve
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Deprive (something) of a particular quality.
      ‘he has divested the original play of its charm’
      • ‘The slave status divested the kullars of any personality outside the service of the master.’
      • ‘It divests you of any sentimentality you might have for home since home was never very accommodating in the first place.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The pain makes his head throb and divests his brain of any sort of thinking power.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Forms of Christianity that essentially divest the faith of its classical, historical identity do not fare well.’
      • ‘Undeserved appellations and humiliating epithets divest him of his self-esteem.’
    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.’
      • ‘The group was, in any case, seeking to divest itself of operations which are not its core business.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He informed the committee that he had divested himself of all outside interests.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Recently, the company has been divesting itself of those businesses to concentrate on its core TV technologies.’
      • ‘In 1998 the Peoples Liberation Army was ordered to divest itself of its considerable and highly regionalised business activities.’
    3. 1.3dated, humorous 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.’
      • ‘She sat them at a table and then neatly divested them of their cloaks.’
      • ‘Grabbing and groping commenced as the women began divesting the hapless men of their cumbersome armor and battle dress.’
      • ‘She directed her gaze heavenward then proceeded to divest him of his coat.’
      strip, relieve, denude
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation