1. A sleeveless garment, often having buttons down the front, worn usually over a shirt or blouse and sometimes as part of a three-piece suit.
2. A waist-length, sleeveless garment worn for protection: a warm down vest; a bulletproof vest.
3. A fabric trim worn to fill in the neckline of a woman's garment; a vestee.
4. Chiefly British An undershirt.
5. Obsolete An ecclesiastical vestment.
v. vest·ed, vest·ing, vests
1. To place (authority, property, or rights, for example) in the control of a person or group, especially to give someone an immediate right to present or future possession or enjoyment of (an estate, for example). Used with in: vested his estate in his daughter.
2. To invest or endow (a person or group) with something, such as power or rights. Used with with: vested the council with broad powers; vests its employees with full pension rights after five years of service.
3. To clothe or robe, as in ecclesiastical vestments.
1. To become legally vested: stock options that vest after the second year of employment.
2. To dress oneself, especially in ecclesiastical vestments.
[French veste, robe, from Italian vesta, from Latin vestis, garment; see wes-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.