Definition of divest in English:


See synonyms for divest

Translate divest into Spanish

transitive verb

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

    ‘men are unlikely to be divested of power without a struggle’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Paese also said it didn't make sense to divest holdings of stocks because of a company's activities.’
    • ‘And Americans are divested of yet another of their hard-won personal liberties.’
    • ‘The grant of a licence to occupy, however, will not divest the owner of control.’
    deprive, strip, dispossess, relieve
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Deprive (something) of a particular quality.
      ‘he has divested the original play of its charm’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The slave status divested the kullars of any personality outside the service of the master.’
      • ‘Forms of Christianity that essentially divest the faith of its classical, historical identity do not fare well.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This did not mean that they were divested of all religious significance.’
      • ‘It divests you of any sentimentality you might have for home since home was never very accommodating in the first place.’
      • ‘Undeserved appellations and humiliating epithets divest him of his self-esteem.’
      • ‘It will be there waiting for a chance to attack and divest you of your inner purification.’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Recently, the company has been divesting itself of those businesses to concentrate on its core TV technologies.’
      • ‘It was time to retire, so he began to divest himself of his businesses.’
      • ‘Every day is spent divesting myself of yet more assets to cover the interest on debt repayment.’
      • ‘The group was, in any case, seeking to divest itself of operations which are not its core business.’
      • ‘A second was to order the IOUs to divest themselves of most of their thermal generating assets.’
      • ‘In 1998 the Peoples Liberation Army was ordered to divest itself of its considerable and highly regionalised business activities.’
      • ‘And while the Fujian government has divested itself of its stake in Lianhe the relationship remains close.’
    3. 1.3 dated, humorous Relieve (someone) of something being worn or carried.
      ‘she divested him of his coat’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      strip, relieve, denude
      View synonyms



/dīˈvest/ /daɪˈvɛst/ /dəˈvest/ /dəˈvɛst/


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