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[in-vest-muh nt] /ɪnˈvɛst mənt/
the investing of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.
a particular instance or mode of investing.
a thing invested in, as a business, a quantity of shares of stock, etc.
something that is invested; sum invested.
the act or fact of investing or state of being invested, as with a garment.
a devoting, using, or giving of time, talent, emotional energy, etc., as for a purpose or to achieve something:
His investment in the project included more time than he cared to remember.
Biology. any covering, coating, outer layer, or integument, as of an animal or vegetable.
the act of investing with a quality, attribute, etc.
investiture with an office, dignity, or right.
a siege or blockade; the surrounding of a place with military forces or works, as in besieging.
Also called investment compound. Metallurgy. a refractory material applied in a plastic state to a pattern to make a mold.
Archaic. a garment or vestment.
Origin of investment
1590-1600 for def 12; 1605-15 for def 1; invest + -ment
Related forms
nonreinvestment, noun
overinvestment, noun
preinvestment, noun
proinvestment, adjective
reinvestment, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for investment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I am, in other words, an investment from which they expect large returns.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • As an investment, these possessions were extremely unremunerative.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • Mark Twain made his first investment in Redding that spring.

  • Perhaps,” she rejoined, laughing, “but I should not care to make such an investment.

    The Crimson Tide Robert W. Chambers
  • Please say to him that a client wishes to speak to him regarding an investment.

    The Crimson Tide Robert W. Chambers
British Dictionary definitions for investment


  1. the act of investing money
  2. the amount invested
  3. an enterprise, asset, etc, in which money is or can be invested
  1. the act of investing effort, resources, etc
  2. the amount invested
(economics) the amount by which the stock of capital (plant, machinery, materials, etc) in an enterprise or economy changes
(biology) the outer layer or covering of an organ, part, or organism
a less common word for investiture (sense 1)
the act of investing or state of being invested, as with an official robe, a specific quality, etc
(rare) the act of besieging with military forces, works, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for investment

1590s, "act of putting on vestments" (a sense now found in investiture); later "act of being invested with an office, right, endowment, etc." (1640s); and "surrounding and besieging of a military target" (1811); see invest + -ment. Commercial sense is from 1610s, originally of the finances of the East India Company; general use is from 1740 in the sense of "conversion of money to property in hopes of profit," and by 1837 in the sense "amount of money so invested; property viewed as a vehicle for profit." For evolution of commercial senses, see invest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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investment in Culture

investment definition

The purchase of property with the expectation that its value will increase over time.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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