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  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ɪnˈvɛst/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛst

Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowed from Middle French investir or Medieval Latin investire, from Latin investio (to clothe, cover), from in- (in, on) + vestio (to clothe, dress), from vestis (clothing); see vest.


invest (third-person singular simple present invests, present participle investing, simple past and past participle invested)

  1. To spend money, time, or energy on something, especially for some benefit or purpose; used with in.
    We'd like to thank all the contributors who have invested countless hours into this event.
  2. (transitive, dated) To clothe or wrap (with garments).
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
      He was but shabbily apparelled in faded jacket and patched trowsers; a rag of a black handkerchief investing his neck.
  3. (intransitive, obsolete) To put on (clothing).
    • Edmund Spenser
      cannot find one this girdle to invest
  4. To envelop, wrap, cover.
    • 1667: Night / Invests the Sea, and wished Morn delayes — John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1, ll. 207-8
  5. To commit money or capital in the hope of financial gain.
  6. To ceremonially install someone in some office.
  7. To formally give (someone) some power or authority.
    • Shakespeare
      I do invest you jointly with my power.
  8. To formally give (power or authority).
    • Francis Bacon
      It investeth a right of government.
  9. To surround, accompany, or attend.
    • Hawthorne
      awe such as must always invest the spectacle of the guilt
  10. To lay siege to.
    • 1820, Charles Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer, volume 4:
      When she related that a band of fanatics, after robbing a church of all its silver-plate, and burning the adjacent vicarage, drunk with their success, had invested the Castle, and cried aloud for ‘the man’ to be brought unto them, that he might be hewed to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal—[…]her young hearers felt a deep stirring of the heart,—a proud yet mellowed elation that never yet was felt by the reader of a written history, though its pages were as legitimate as any sanctioned by the royal licenser at Madrid.
    to invest a town
  11. (intransitive) To make investments.
  12. (metallurgy) To prepare for lost wax casting by creating an investment mold (a mixture of a silica sand and plaster).
  13. (intransitive) To be involved in; to form strong attachments to.
    • 2004, Michael D. Garval, "A Dream of Stone": Fame, Vision, and Monumentality in ..., University of Delaware Press, →ISBN, page 214:
      From early on in his career, Zola's work as a critic revealed just how heavily he was invested in the literary “dream of stone.”
    • 2014, Sarah Varland, Tundra Threat: Faith in the Face of Crime, Harlequin, →ISBN, page 107:
      She knew from watching him grow up that he didn't let that many people too close to him, but once he did, he was invested in that relationship.
    • 2015, James Graham, Tory Boyz, Bloomsbury Publishing, →ISBN, page 11:
      We decided that it was because he trusted the core beliefs of the Conservative Party, and he was invested in their vision of change in the NorthWest of England where he comes from.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From investigate, by shortening


invest (plural invests)

  1. (meteorology) An unnamed tropical weather pattern "to investigate" for development into a significant (named) system.