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divest (v.)

1560s, devest (modern spelling is c. 1600), "strip of possessions," from French devester "strip of possessions" (Old French desvestir), from des- "away" (see dis-) + vestir "to clothe," from Latin vestire "to clothe" (from PIE *wes- (2) "to clothe," extended form of root *eu- "to dress").

The etymological sense of "strip of clothes, arms, or equipage" is from 1580s. Meaning "strip by some definite or legal process" is from 1570s. Economic sense "sell off (a subsidiary company, later an investment) is by 1961. Related: Divested; divesting.

Origin and meaning of divest

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Definitions of divest from WordNet

divest (v.)
take away possessions from someone;
Synonyms: deprive / strip
divest (v.)
deprive of status or authority;
he was divested of his rights and his title
Synonyms: disinvest
divest (v.)
reduce or dispose of; cease to hold (an investment);
the board of trustees divested $20 million in real estate property
The company decided to divest
Synonyms: disinvest
divest (v.)
remove (someone's or one's own) clothes;
She divested herself of her outdoor clothes
Synonyms: strip / undress / disinvest
From wordnet.princeton.edu