verb (used with object)
- to put (money) to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.
- to use (money), as in accumulating something: to invest large sums in books.
- to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve something: He invested a lot of time in helping retarded children.
- to furnish with power, authority, rank, etc.: The Constitution invests the president with the power of veto.
- to furnish or endow with a power, right, etc.; vest: Feudalism invested the lords with absolute authority over their vassals.
- to endow with a quality or characteristic: to invest a friend with every virtue.
- to infuse or belong to, as a quality or characteristic: Goodness invests his every action.
- Metallurgy. to surround (a pattern) with an investment.
- to provide with the insignia of office.
- to install in an office or position.
- to clothe, attire, or dress.
- to cover, adorn, or envelop: Spring invests the trees with leaves.
- to surround (a place) with military forces or works so as to prevent approach or escape; besiege.
verb (used without object)
- to invest money; make an investment: to invest in oil stock.
- to put back profits from a previous investment into the same enterprise
- (often foll by in) to lay out (money or capital in an enterprise, esp by purchasing shares) with the expectation of profit
- (tr often foll by in) to devote (effort, resources, etc, to a project)
- (tr; often foll by in or with) mainly archaic to clothe or adorn (in some garment, esp the robes of an office)to invest a king in the insignia of an emperor
- (tr often foll by in) to install formally or ceremoniously (in an official position, rank, etc)
- (tr; foll by in or with) to place (power, authority, etc, in) or provide (with power or authority)to invest new rights in the monarchy
- (tr; usually passive; foll by in or with) to provide or endow (a person with qualities, characteristics, etc)he was invested with great common sense
- (tr foll by with) usually poetic to cover or adorn, as if with a coat or garmentwhen spring invests the trees with leaves
- (tr) rare to surround with military forces; besiege
- (intr foll by in) informal to purchase; buy
late 14c., “to clothe in the official robes of an office,” from Latin investire “to clothe in, cover, surround,” from in “in, into” (see in- (2)) + vestire “to dress, clothe” (see wear). The meaning “use money to produce profit” first attested 1610s in connection with the East Indies trade, and is probably a borrowing of Italian investire (13c.) from the same Latin root, via the notion of giving one’s capital a new form. The military meaning “to besiege” is from c.1600. Related: Invested; investing.