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. The sense “to spend money etc.” probably via Italian investire, of the same root.
invest (third-person singular simple present invests, present participle investing, simple past and past participle invested)
- 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.
- (transitive, dated) To clothe or wrap (with garments).
- 1851, Melville, Herman, Moby-Dick:
- He was but shabbily apparelled in faded jacket and patched trowsers; a rag of a black handkerchief investing his neck.
- (intransitive, obsolete) To put on (clothing).
- 1596, Spenser, Edmund, The Faerie Queene, book 4, canto 5, verse 18:
- Cannot find one this girdle to invest!
- To envelop, wrap, cover.
- 1667, Milton, John, Paradise Lost, Book 1, ll. 207-8:
- Night / Invests the Sea, and wished Morn delayes
- To commit money or capital in the hope of financial gain.
- To ceremonially install someone in some office.
- To formally give (someone) some power or authority.
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], part 1, 2nd edition, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
- Madam, whatſoeuer you eſteeme
Of this ſucceſſe, and loſſe vnualued,
Both may inueſt you Empreſſe of the Eaſt: […]
- c. 1603–06, Shakespeare, William, King Lear, act 1, scene 1:
- I do invest you jointly with my power.
- To formally give (power or authority).
- a. 1626, Bacon, Francis, An Advertisement Touching a Holy War:
- For he saith, if there can be found such an inequality between man and man, as there is between man and beast, or between soul and body, it investeth a right of government: which seemeth rather an impossible case than an untrue sentence.
- To surround, accompany, or attend.
- 1850, Hawthorne, Nathaniel, The Scarlet Letter:
- The scene was not without a mixture of awe such as must always invest the spectacle of the guilt and shame in a fellow-creature, before society shall have grown corrupt enough to smile, instead of shuddering, at it.
- 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter 35, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, →OCLC, page 171:
- For the most part, in this tropic whaling life, a sublime uneventfulness invests you; you hear no news; read no gazettes; extras with startling accounts of commonplaces never delude you into unnecessary excitements; you hear of no domestic afflictions; bankrupt securities; fall of stocks; are never troubled with the thought of what you shall have for dinner—for all your meals for three years and more are snugly stowed in casks, and your bill of fare is immutable.
- To lay siege to.
- 1820, [Charles Robert Maturin], Melmoth the Wanderer: A Tale. […], volume IV, Edinburgh: […] Archibald Constable and Company, and Hurst, Robinson, and Co., […], →OCLC, page 216:
- 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
- (intransitive) To make investments.
- (metallurgy) To prepare for lost wax casting by creating an investment mold (a mixture of a silica sand and plaster).
- (intransitive) To be involved in; to form strong attachments to.
- (put on clothing): beclothe, don, dress; see also Thesaurus:clothe
- (lay siege to): besiege
terms derived from invest (verb)
to clothe or wrap with garments — see clothe
to envelop, wrap, cover
to commit resources in the hope of financial gain
to spend money, time, and effort into something
to ceremonially install into office
to formally give power
to lay siege to
to make investments
to create an investment mold
to be involved in; to form strong attachments to
From investigate, by shortening.
invest (plural invests)
- (meteorology) An unnamed tropical weather pattern "to investigate" for development into a significant (named) system.
- ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “invest”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.