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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.
    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).
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.