Definition of vest in English:



  • 1US Australian A sleeveless, close-fitting waist-length garment worn over a shirt, typically having no collar and buttoning down the front.

    ‘businessmen wear three-piece pin-striped suits with vests and neckties’
    • ‘After a couple of outfits, Sara decided on a sleeveless leather vest and a loose wrap skirt and broad belt.’
    • ‘This pattern gives you two unique looks in one sporty vest or jacket.’
    • ‘She quickly changed into her uniform, which consisted of a white blouse, a short gray pleated skirt and a vest, and a matching gray jacket.’
    • ‘Men in urban areas wear a felt or fur-trimmed hat, a short vest with sleeves, trousers, and a robe.’
    • ‘He pulled a notepad from his vest pocket, and flipped it open.’
    • ‘He was very recognisable by the exotic and flamboyant clothing he wore - a deep red vest without sleeves with a clashing orange shirt underneath.’
    • ‘He was dressed in a loose shirt, a vest, trousers and brown boots.’
    • ‘He settled on a conservative gray jacket with a darker vest beneath it.’
    • ‘He put on one each of the vests, jackets and sunglasses, removing his own jacket to do so.’
    • ‘Altair reached into his vest pocket and pulled out a stained, frayed handkerchief.’
    • ‘It consisted of a plaid, pleated skirt, a white blouse, a sweater vest, and a blazer, as well as a tie, and knee highs.’
    • ‘A traditional tuxedo is worn with a bow tie and a vest or cummerbund.’
    • ‘Above the navy skirt, she wore a white collared, long-sleeved blouse and matching blue knit sweater vest.’
    • ‘Instead of a stage and chairs, I found a bounty of discarded hats, sweaters, shirts, vests, pants, wigs, and costume apparel covering the floor and hanging on coat hooks.’
    • ‘In order to stay cool, Harris recommends that workers wear an undershirt beneath the vest.’
    • ‘Fran was wearing long sleeves and a vest, which covered her muscles.’
    • ‘Men typically wore trousers and a tailored shirt under a vest or coat.’
    • ‘We found a vintage clothing store, and I bought a vest that I will no longer wear.’
    • ‘The only decent thing he wore was the sturdy red vest, almost a sleeveless jacket, with black embroidery at the neck and arm holes.’
    • ‘Dad's knitted vest will have to be finished next week.’
  • 2A garment worn on the upper part of the body for a particular purpose or activity.

    ‘a running vest’
    ‘a bulletproof vest’
    • ‘Other companies, Weatherby for example, have recently introduced wool hunting jackets and vests.’
    • ‘Although unisex vests are available in every police station in a variety of sizes, body armour is not currently personally issued to each officer.’
    • ‘If this isn't possible, add a light to your bike and don a safety vest.’
    • ‘Break surface, simultaneously remove regulator from mouth and fully inflate vest.’
    • ‘The vest has 23 pockets for all the gadgets turkey hunters manage to accumulate.’
    • ‘In stab vests and riot gear, police stormed a number of Ulverston homes looking for drugs yesterday in a series of high-profile raids.’
    • ‘Some of the police were dressed in black fatigues; others were wearing suits underneath bullet-proof vests.’
    • ‘Their coats, vests and jackets are made from unique breathable and waterproof Australian fabric.’
    • ‘The dozen pockets of his safari vest are filled with gear.’
    • ‘She spent the last few minutes before the race wearing an ice vest to keep her body temperature down.’
    • ‘Some of the vests now have a collar and groin protector.’
    • ‘On that trip, we could only carry our cameras and flak vests.’
    • ‘However, a person dressed in the reflective vest commonly worn by security guards was seen lying face down on the front steps.’
    • ‘It has not been much warmer in France than it was in Belgium and we started the first stage in leg warmers, thermal vests, gloves and hats.’
    • ‘A cheaper, quicker fix is to use a slip-on rubber pad and/or a shooting vest with a thick shoulder pad.’
    • ‘Walsh was briefly trapped in the cockpit, managed to inflate his life vest, and rocketed to the surface.’
    • ‘Nike is providing pre-cool jackets, vests filled with 12 cooled gel packs that can be worn for an hour before competing, and uniforms with ventilation panels.’
    • ‘With their Kevlar vests and M16 rifles they looked much like any other occupying force.’
    • ‘The flak vests were a little worn but still had the protection needed.’
    • ‘On the sidewalk before stop lights start turning red, three people in the public works wearing orange reflective vests push three prams stripped to the metal.’
  • 3British An undershirt, typically one without sleeves.

    • ‘Either way, the revolution that is Secret Support will doubtless make life so much easier and is available in a range of vests, bodies and t-shirts in a variety of colours and fabrics.’
    • ‘This week, many of the women are seemingly bra-less, or wearing strapless tops, vests, etc.’
    • ‘He wore a beige shirt and trousers and a white vest under his shirt.’
    • ‘I stripped off my dress and pulled on a pair of pyjama bottoms and a vest, before climbing into bed.’
    • ‘She drifts on stage dressed in high-street chic: faded denim and a tracksuit top, which she slips off to reveal a pink camisole vest.’
    • ‘They go with everything, look good with a sun tan, can be used as vests under shirts if the weather turns cold and can be slipped on over a swimming costume if the sun gets too strong.’
    • ‘She wears a sparkly top, not a boyish vest, with her jeans.’
    • ‘Val changed into her dress with the discreet vest underneath.’
    • ‘The appeal is now in its final week and priority should be given to the gift donation of vests, warm undergarments, toiletries and socks.’
    • ‘His children, two young girls, are running in and out of the spray in vests and knickers.’
    • ‘Detectives have appealed for information about a male jogger wearing a blue vest and black tracksuit seen running in the area.’
    • ‘He had short black hair and wore a black vest, dark jeans, and a long gold necklace with a pendant.’
    • ‘I wore identical stuff to the first audition - faded jeans and a black vest.’
    • ‘Eight vests, six stretchsuits, two cardigans, and one shawl or all-in-one coat are the bare essentials.’
    • ‘The following items are needed: Warm socks, vests, underwear, toiletries Christmas cakes, boxes of biscuits, sweets, warm underclothing for men and warm blankets.’
    • ‘After he dropped the bomb, soldiers ordered him to take off his vest and jeans, to ensure he had no other weapons on him.’
    • ‘The more knowledgeable spectators in the crowd were able to pick out each club runner by the colour of his vest, almost the athletic version of train-spotting.’
    • ‘Keep your outfit neutral but use colour in a top, vest or camisole or with a fabulous scarf or chiffon shawl.’
    • ‘The major contributions include vests, warm undergarments, warm socks and toiletries.’
    • ‘Another wore Bermuda shorts, a vest and sunglasses, and rode a surfboard just a few streets away from Wall Street.’
    1. 3.1A woman's sleeveless top.
      ‘she stepped out in a striped vest and skinny jeans with strappy black heels’
      ‘Kim looked chic in her pink jeans and white vest top’
      • ‘Then later in the episode, she showed up wearing a denim vest.’
      • ‘The women, dressed in skinny jeans and vest tops, swoop in and out.’
      • ‘Pair the plaid skirt with knee high socks, boots and a sequinned vest.’
      • ‘Not content with the attention from her show-stopping ear bling, the 25-year-old singer also wore an extremely sheer vest top.’
      • ‘Throw on a fitted leather jacket or an army green cargo vest to complete your relaxed yet cool look.’
      • ‘Teaming a checked shirt with a grey vest, she showed off her slim legs in a pair of form-fitting skinny jeans.’
      • ‘At the entrance, the girls, who were wearing vest tops, were given T-shirts to cover their shoulders.’
      • ‘We love the idea of pairing a printed maxi skirt with a statement vest, then sprinkling in snazzy accessories for added interest.’
      • ‘The colour schemes are bright, with yellow and pink tie-dyes and vest tops matched with acid-washed denim.’
      • ‘She was spotted wearing a red floral vest top with some knee-length denim shorts.’
      • ‘She also donned a brightly coloured bikini underneath her vest, which displayed her very slender figure.’


  • 1[with object] Confer or bestow (power, authority, property, etc.) on someone.

    ‘executive power is vested in the president’
    • ‘This is a much more precise and exacting standard than just suggesting that a person or body in whom a discretionary power is vested must exercise that power reasonably.’
    • ‘Extensive powers were vested into the hands of the President who headed the executive branch of government.’
    • ‘Those political philosophies and religions that vest supreme authority in the individual are far more difficult to organize than those that can evoke some higher power.’
    • ‘To vest the powers of state in one man or council is to reduce the independence of both the sovereign and the subject.’
    • ‘We say that power must be vested solely in the right of Parliament and the Government.’
    • ‘At the same time, this is not a top-down, bureaucratic management by fiat: authority here is vested not in any single individual, but rather in the deliberative group itself.’
    • ‘That Article exclusively vests the ‘judicial power of the United States’ in such courts.’
    • ‘After deliberation, he and his council of officers decided to vest the supreme authority in a nominated assembly, initially for sixteen months.’
    • ‘The Framers vested control in copyrighted works in ‘authors,’ in the sense of individual creators - not industry or publishers or the government.’
    • ‘He is the rightful representative of the people of Florida and he is the chief executive, in whom the power is vested to execute the law and protect the rights of citizens.’
    • ‘But even they vested managerial control over land largely in male relatives.’
    • ‘The Conservative party has always vested great authority in its leader and restricted participation in selection.’
    • ‘Article II vested the executive power of the federal government in a president and vice president, both elected for four-year terms by specially chosen electors.’
    • ‘They apparently went back and forth between vesting the appointment power between the Executive or in the Senate.’
    • ‘It might be thought that the easiest way to give shareholders control over management would be to vest the management powers in them.’
    • ‘In English Common Law, ownership of land is still vested only in the Crown.’
    • ‘The trustee company then moved to vest the property of the trust in the children.’
    • ‘In each case the woman is confronting the society's power, which is vested and expressed in one or possibly two men.’
    • ‘What it has actually done is very simple: it has taken the beaches from the control of local communities and local authorities and vested it in the Minister of Conservation.’
    • ‘An Arab diplomat, going further, said Arab countries would oppose vesting any authority in the Governing Council.’
    • ‘The Justice Department argued that the Constitution vests such authority exclusively in the president, and that it is not subject to judicial review.’
    entrust to, invest in, bestow on, confer on, grant to, give to
    endow, lodge, lay, place
    put in the hands of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Give (someone) the legal right to power, property, etc.
      ‘he alone is vested with the authority to steer the country’s economy’
      • ‘His strong sense that he alone is vested with the authority to steer the country's economy was also apparent.’
      • ‘There has to be a system like football and hockey where the umpire is vested with the authority to warn a player according to the nature of the offence.’
      • ‘Those vested with governing power have a natural inbuilt reluctance to accept restrictions on the exercise of their authority.’
      • ‘The civic bodies must be given the task of local distribution and could also be vested with the powers to award the local distribution contracts, provided there is a foolproof mechanism for quality control.’
      • ‘Members of the clergy are vested with veto power over names of infants.’
      • ‘During inauguration, the president is vested with the power and authority of the office.’
      • ‘Although I have been vested with the power to decide whom I want to elect as my leader, there is no harm in getting other people's opinion; after all two heads are better than one!’
      • ‘In Germany, France, and Switzerland, the public sector was vested with this authority.’
      • ‘With such responsibility, council members have been vested with authority to do their job effectively.’
      • ‘They have been vested with the authority to hand over the offenders to the police.’
      • ‘The only un-democratic branch in all of this was judiciary, which was thus vested with no actual power.’
      • ‘Because my theory is that individuals are vested with enormous powers that tend to threaten the state.’
      • ‘Instead, the tribunal was vested with essentially unlimited authority to establish the parameters for its existence and for the prosecution of cases before it.’
      • ‘There will be a transformation in this country, and if this is to happen, ‘villagers should be vested with power’.’
      • ‘At every scale, organizations were vested with the power to prevent smaller scales from forming and thus distributing power.’
      • ‘That is, there are occasions when a body is vested with a power for one purpose but seeks to use this power for some other purpose.’
      • ‘The Constitution vests the people with the right to assembly and demonstration.’
      • ‘It decided on all political and economic matters and was vested with the fullest possible powers.’
      • ‘Once vested with the power to overrule precedent, he will.’
      • ‘Should this court come into existence, it will be vested with the power to try ‘serious violations of the law of war,’ whether committed during international or internal armed conflict.’
      • ‘The tribunals should be vested with summary powers.’
    2. 1.2[no object](of power, property, etc.) come into the possession of.
      ‘the bankrupt's property vests in his trustee’
      • ‘We have expressed the duty of the Council to exercise the statutory powers vested in it so as to minimise the risk of harm to such consumers.’
      • ‘It is admitted that if a receiving order is made there is no property to vest in the trustee and therefore there is nothing to administer.’
      • ‘Now in bankruptcy the property of a bankrupt vests in his trustee upon the making of the sequestration order.’
      • ‘This was achieved by 1876 and the property vested in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1891.’
      • ‘Sovereignty, said Bodin, was that absolute and perpetual power vested in a commonwealth.’
      • ‘In short, what are the powers vested in India's national hockey coach?’
      • ‘It was given to trustees and the property was vested in the Charity Commissioners for the benefit of Haxby people.’
      • ‘The dominance often leads to a usurpation of the political power officially vested in government.’
      • ‘It relies on Section 71 of the B.I.A. that once an assignment in bankruptcy is made, all of the bankrupt's property vests in his or her Trustee.’
      • ‘There are some single judgments in the Federal Court which suggest that that is not property which vests in the official trustee in bankruptcy, so therefore it is not actually one of the actions over which he has jurisdiction.’
      • ‘The social power vested in a brand, through its appeal to consumers, is held directly responsible for its economic power.’
      • ‘Thus, the power vested in Congress allowed it to operate with moderate control over the states.’
      • ‘What has caused such high levels of corruption is the very fact that there is too much power vested in the hands of the state.’
      • ‘It should not, however, seek to usurp the power vested in the elected government of the day.’
      • ‘Undoubtedly princes, peers and other great nobles of old stock resented the power thus vested in men whom they regarded as social inferiors.’
      • ‘With so much power still vested in him, he can make a difference, if not to the outcome, certainly to the process.’
  • 2[no object] (of a chorister or member of the clergy) put on vestments.

    • ‘We discussed the service as I vested, then waited in the sacristy for the sound of feet on the chapel floor.’
    1. 2.1literary [with object]Dress (someone)
      ‘the Speaker vested him with a rich purple robe’
      • ‘He was fully vested, with a blue brocade chasuble over his white alb.’
      • ‘Now she was vested for the anointing; buskins, sandals and girdle put on, and over all a tabard of white sarsnet, the vestment called the colobium sindonis.’
      • ‘But Jesus is not an ordinary king; he is vested not in fine silks and jewels but in garments of humility and suffering.’


  • play (or keep) one's cards close to one's vest


Late Middle English (as a verb): from Old French vestu clothed past participle of vestir, from Latin vestire; the noun (early 17th century, denoting a loose outer garment) from French veste, via Italian from Latin vestis garment.