Definition of vest in English:



  • 1British An undergarment worn on the upper part of the body, typically having no sleeves.

    • ‘Another wore Bermuda shorts, a vest and sunglasses, and rode a surfboard just a few streets away from Wall Street.’
    • ‘The appeal is now in its final week and priority should be given to the gift donation of vests, warm undergarments, toiletries and socks.’
    • ‘Detectives have appealed for information about a male jogger wearing a blue vest and black tracksuit seen running in the area.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Val changed into her dress with the discreet vest underneath.’
    • ‘He had short black hair and wore a black vest, dark jeans, and a long gold necklace with a pendant.’
    • ‘Keep your outfit neutral but use colour in a top, vest or camisole or with a fabulous scarf or chiffon shawl.’
    • ‘Eight vests, six stretchsuits, two cardigans, and one shawl or all-in-one coat are the bare essentials.’
    • ‘The major contributions include vests, warm undergarments, warm socks and toiletries.’
    • ‘This week, many of the women are seemingly bra-less, or wearing strapless tops, vests, etc.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I stripped off my dress and pulled on a pair of pyjama bottoms and a vest, before climbing into bed.’
    • ‘She wears a sparkly top, not a boyish vest, with her jeans.’
    • ‘After he dropped the bomb, soldiers ordered him to take off his vest and jeans, to ensure he had no other weapons on him.’
    • ‘He wore a beige shirt and trousers and a white vest under his shirt.’
    • ‘The following items are needed: Warm socks, vests, underwear, toiletries Christmas cakes, boxes of biscuits, sweets, warm underclothing for men and warm blankets.’
    • ‘I wore identical stuff to the first audition - faded jeans and a black vest.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His children, two young girls, are running in and out of the spray in vests and knickers.’
    1. 1.1 A 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’
      • ‘The colour schemes are bright, with yellow and pink tie-dyes and vest tops matched with acid-washed denim.’
      • ‘We love the idea of pairing a printed maxi skirt with a statement vest, then sprinkling in snazzy accessories for added interest.’
      • ‘Then later in the episode, she showed up wearing a denim vest.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The women, dressed in skinny jeans and vest tops, swoop in and out.’
      • ‘She also donned a brightly coloured bikini underneath her vest, which displayed her very slender figure.’
      • ‘She was spotted wearing a red floral vest top with some knee-length denim shorts.’
      • ‘Pair the plaid skirt with knee high socks, boots and a sequinned vest.’
      • ‘At the entrance, the girls, who were wearing vest tops, were given T-shirts to cover their shoulders.’
      • ‘Not content with the attention from her show-stopping ear bling, the 25-year-old singer also wore an extremely sheer vest top.’
  • 2A garment worn on the upper part of the body for a particular purpose:

    ‘a running vest’
    ‘a bulletproof vest’
    • ‘The vest has 23 pockets for all the gadgets turkey hunters manage to accumulate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If this isn't possible, add a light to your bike and don a safety vest.’
    • ‘With their Kevlar vests and M16 rifles they looked much like any other occupying force.’
    • ‘Their coats, vests and jackets are made from unique breathable and waterproof Australian fabric.’
    • ‘In stab vests and riot gear, police stormed a number of Ulverston homes looking for drugs yesterday in a series of high-profile raids.’
    • ‘The dozen pockets of his safari vest are filled with gear.’
    • ‘Walsh was briefly trapped in the cockpit, managed to inflate his life vest, and rocketed to the surface.’
    • ‘Break surface, simultaneously remove regulator from mouth and fully inflate vest.’
    • ‘However, a person dressed in the reflective vest commonly worn by security guards was seen lying face down on the front steps.’
    • ‘Although unisex vests are available in every police station in a variety of sizes, body armour is not currently personally issued to each officer.’
    • ‘Some of the vests now have a collar and groin protector.’
    • ‘A cheaper, quicker fix is to use a slip-on rubber pad and/or a shooting vest with a thick shoulder pad.’
    • ‘Some of the police were dressed in black fatigues; others were wearing suits underneath bullet-proof vests.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She spent the last few minutes before the race wearing an ice vest to keep her body temperature down.’
    • ‘On that trip, we could only carry our cameras and flak vests.’
    • ‘Other companies, Weatherby for example, have recently introduced wool hunting jackets and vests.’
    • ‘The flak vests were a little worn but still had the protection needed.’
  • 3US Australian A waistcoat or sleeveless 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.’
    • ‘He put on one each of the vests, jackets and sunglasses, removing his own jacket to do so.’
    • ‘In order to stay cool, Harris recommends that workers wear an undershirt beneath the vest.’
    • ‘Altair reached into his vest pocket and pulled out a stained, frayed handkerchief.’
    • ‘After a couple of outfits, Sara decided on a sleeveless leather vest and a loose wrap skirt and broad belt.’
    • ‘Men in urban areas wear a felt or fur-trimmed hat, a short vest with sleeves, trousers, and a robe.’
    • ‘This pattern gives you two unique looks in one sporty vest or jacket.’
    • ‘Men typically wore trousers and a tailored shirt under a vest or coat.’
    • ‘A traditional tuxedo is worn with a bow tie and a vest or cummerbund.’
    • ‘He pulled a notepad from his vest pocket, and flipped it open.’
    • ‘Above the navy skirt, she wore a white collared, long-sleeved blouse and matching blue knit sweater vest.’
    • ‘He settled on a conservative gray jacket with a darker vest beneath it.’
    • ‘He was dressed in a loose shirt, a vest, trousers and brown boots.’
    • ‘He was very recognisable by the exotic and flamboyant clothing he wore - a deep red vest without sleeves with a clashing orange shirt underneath.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It consisted of a plaid, pleated skirt, a white blouse, a sweater vest, and a blazer, as well as a tie, and knee highs.’
    • ‘Fran was wearing long sleeves and a vest, which covered her muscles.’
    • ‘Dad's knitted vest will have to be finished next week.’


  • 1usually be vested in[with object] Confer or bestow (power, authority, property, etc.) on someone:

    ‘executive power is vested in the President’
    • ‘But even they vested managerial control over land largely in male relatives.’
    • ‘In each case the woman is confronting the society's power, which is vested and expressed in one or possibly two men.’
    • ‘We say that power must be vested solely in the right of Parliament and the Government.’
    • ‘That Article exclusively vests the ‘judicial power of the United States’ in such courts.’
    • ‘It might be thought that the easiest way to give shareholders control over management would be to vest the management powers in them.’
    • ‘Extensive powers were vested into the hands of the President who headed the executive branch of government.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After deliberation, he and his council of officers decided to vest the supreme authority in a nominated assembly, initially for sixteen months.’
    • ‘The trustee company then moved to vest the property of the trust in the children.’
    • ‘In English Common Law, ownership of land is still vested only in the Crown.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They apparently went back and forth between vesting the appointment power between the Executive or in the Senate.’
    • ‘The Conservative party has always vested great authority in its leader and restricted participation in selection.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Framers vested control in copyrighted works in ‘authors,’ in the sense of individual creators - not industry or publishers or the government.’
    • ‘To vest the powers of state in one man or council is to reduce the independence of both the sovereign and the subject.’
    • ‘The Justice Department argued that the Constitution vests such authority exclusively in the president, and that it is not subject to judicial review.’
    • ‘An Arab diplomat, going further, said Arab countries would oppose vesting any authority in the Governing Council.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    entrust to, invest in, bestow on, confer on, grant to, give to
    endow, lodge, lay, place
    put in the hands of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1usually be vested with Give (someone) the legal right to power, property, etc.:
      ‘the local planning authorities are vested with powers to regulate land use and development’
      • ‘The Constitution vests the people with the right to assembly and demonstration.’
      • ‘With such responsibility, council members have been vested with authority to do their job effectively.’
      • ‘Instead, the tribunal was vested with essentially unlimited authority to establish the parameters for its existence and for the prosecution of cases before it.’
      • ‘Because my theory is that individuals are vested with enormous powers that tend to threaten the state.’
      • ‘It decided on all political and economic matters and was vested with the fullest possible powers.’
      • ‘During inauguration, the president is vested with the power and authority of the office.’
      • ‘The tribunals should be vested with summary powers.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘Once vested with the power to overrule precedent, he will.’
      • ‘His strong sense that he alone is vested with the authority to steer the country's economy was also apparent.’
      • ‘Those vested with governing power have a natural inbuilt reluctance to accept restrictions on the exercise of their authority.’
      • ‘In Germany, France, and Switzerland, the public sector was vested with this authority.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The only un-democratic branch in all of this was judiciary, which was thus vested with no actual power.’
      • ‘There will be a transformation in this country, and if this is to happen, ‘villagers should be vested with power’.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They have been vested with the authority to hand over the offenders to the police.’
      • ‘Members of the clergy are vested with veto power over names of infants.’
      • ‘At every scale, organizations were vested with the power to prevent smaller scales from forming and thus distributing power.’
    2. 1.2vest in[no object] (of power, property, etc.) come into the possession of:
      ‘the bankrupt's property vests in his trustee’
      • ‘Sovereignty, said Bodin, was that absolute and perpetual power vested in a commonwealth.’
      • ‘Thus, the power vested in Congress allowed it to operate with moderate control over the states.’
      • ‘It should not, however, seek to usurp the power vested in the elected government of the day.’
      • ‘The social power vested in a brand, through its appeal to consumers, is held directly responsible for its economic power.’
      • ‘The dominance often leads to a usurpation of the political power officially vested in government.’
      • ‘It was given to trustees and the property was vested in the Charity Commissioners for the benefit of Haxby people.’
      • ‘With so much power still vested in him, he can make a difference, if not to the outcome, certainly to the process.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘In short, what are the powers vested in India's national hockey coach?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This was achieved by 1876 and the property vested in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1891.’
      • ‘Undoubtedly princes, peers and other great nobles of old stock resented the power thus vested in men whom they regarded as social inferiors.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now in bankruptcy the property of a bankrupt vests in his trustee upon the making of the sequestration order.’
  • 2[no object] (of a chorister or member of the clergy) put on vestments:

    ‘he approaches the altar to vest for Mass’
    • ‘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’
      • ‘But Jesus is not an ordinary king; he is vested not in fine silks and jewels but in garments of humility and suffering.’
      • ‘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.’


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.