Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. Law To take away (a right or possession, for example).
  • transitive v. Archaic To remove the clothing or covering of.
  • transitive v. Archaic To deprive of a title, right, or item of property.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To be taken away, lost, or alienated, as a title or an estate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To divest; to undress.
  • transitive v. To take away, as an authority, title, etc., to deprive; to alienate, as an estate.
  • intransitive v. To be taken away, lost, or alienated, as a title or an estate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To remove vesture from; undress.
  • To divest; strip; free.
  • In law, to alienate; annul, as title or right; deprive of title.
  • In law, to be lost or alienated, as a title or an estate.

Etymologies

Obsolete French desvestir, to undress, from Medieval Latin disvestīre : Latin dis-, dis- + Latin vestis, garment; see wes-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
de- +‎ vest? (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • M to day after haveing disposed of their roots and berries for a fiew fishing hooks and Some other Small articles. we are infestd. with Sworms of flees already in our new habatations; the presumption is therefore Strong that we Shall not devest our Selves of this intolerably troublesom vermin dureing our residence here.

    The Journals of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1806

  • Nation, and the Spanish having agreed, to give the honour of this Action either truely or falsely, unto Sir Henry Morgan, I cannot but admire that those who pretend to be the greatest admirers of his merits, should endeavour to devest him of it.

    Bucaniers of America:

  • Angling is an Art; and you know that Art better then any that I know: and that this is truth, is demostrated by the fruits of that pleasant labor which you enjoy when you purpose to give rest to your mind, and devest your self of your more serious business, and (which is often) dedicate a day or two to this Recreation.

    The Complete Angler 1653

  • Reason for any one, to devest himselfe of his: For that were to expose himselfe to Prey, (which no man is bound to) rather than to dispose himselfe to Peace.

    Leviathan

  • You are assur’d (though there be ignorant men of an other belief) that Angling is an Art; and you know that Art better then any that I know: and that this is truth, is demostrated by the fruits of that pleasant labor which you enjoy when you purpose to give rest to your mind, and devest your self of your more serious business, and (which is often) dedicate a day or two to this

    The Compleat Angler

  • _Unchanged: _ chaunted [chanted] cotemporary/ies [contemporary/ies] descendent [descendant] devest [divest] monkies [monkeys] mystries [mysteries] pedler [pedlar] surprize [surprise] wo [woe] wonderous [wondrous] then "hear him, hear him," loudly rings, [final comma is unclear] assuage their wrath or heal the wound, [comma is unclear] _Corrected: _

    The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor Vol I, No. 2, February 1810

  • At his entrance he seemed a little intimidated, as if he were dubious of his reception; nor could he for some minutes devest himself of that feeling, though he was received with the most flattering welcome; -- this transient perturbation gave a very pleasing effect to his first words; and when he said, "My name is Norval," he uttered it with a pause which seemed to be the effect of the modest diffidence natural to such a character upon being introduced into a higher presence than he had ever before approached.

    The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor Vol I, No. 2, February 1810

  • "When then a law is in the nature of a contract, when absolute rights have vested under that contract, a repeal of the law can not devest those rights; ...

    The Spirit of American Government A Study Of The Constitution: Its Origin, Influence And Relation To Democracy

  • That if the sole reasonable occasion of the interposition of the Court in this case was the defendant's wife being then an infant, she was now of age, and present in Court, ready to give her consent that her husband should have the residue of her portion; which consent of hers before a judge, upon a fine, would devest her of any real estate, a fortiori would such con - sent when given by her before the ZfOrd Chancellor himself, be

    Reports of cases argued and determined in the High Court of Chancery, and of some special cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench [1695-1735]

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