- a close-fitting, waist-length, sleeveless garment that buttons down the front, designed to be worn under a jacket.
- a part or trimming simulating the front of such a garment; vestee.Compare dickey1(def 1).
- a waist-length garment worn for protective purposes: a bulletproof vest.
- a sleeveless, waist- or hip-length garment made of various materials, with a front opening usually secured by buttons, a zipper, or the like, worn over a shirt, blouse, dress, or other article for style or warmth: a sweater vest; a down vest.
- British. an undervest or undershirt.
- a long garment resembling a cassock, worn by men in the time of Charles II.
- dress; apparel.
- an outer garment, robe, or gown.
- an ecclesiastical vestment.
- to clothe; dress; robe.
- to dress in ecclesiastical vestments: to vest a bishop.
- to cover or drape (an altar).
- to place or settle (something, especially property, rights, powers, etc.) in the possession or control of someone (usually followed by in): to vest authority in a new official.
- to invest or endow (a person, group, committee, etc.) with something, as powers, functions, or rights: to vest the board with power to increase production; to vest an employee with full benefits in the pension plan.
- play it close to the vest, Informal. to avoid taking unnecessary risks.
Origin of vest
Examples from the Web for vest
He wore white gloves, a dignified long black coat, and matching pants and vest, and he carried a dark walking stick.The Black Man Who Replaced Jefferson Davis in the Senate
January 7, 2015
The news reports quoted him as saying he wore the vest to celebrate Sunday Mass in Apatzingán.Mexico’s Holy Warrior Against the Cartels
November 18, 2014
I pressed the dime-sized rubber button on my vest, which was linked to my radio.I Shot Bin Laden
November 16, 2014
To date, Gowdy has played his cards close to the vest as to what the committee will actually investigate.New Benghazi Investigation Spooks GOP Leaders
May 14, 2014
In the photo, Sherman stands, dressed in an elaborate embroidered velvet frock coat and vest from the late eighteenth century.Bill Cunningham: Through the Lens of a Style King
March 14, 2014
He pulled his watch from the pocket of his vest, hanging on the bedpost.In the Midst of Alarms
And, firm and dauntless, Morton laid his hand on the giant's vest.Night and Morning, Complete
She heard him take off his coat and vest and hang them on the back of a chair.Bride of the Mistletoe
James Lane Allen
She again touches it; it is drawn from her vest; it falls to the ground.Vivian Grey
Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
He dipped into his vest pocket and produced his silver stop watch.Old Man Curry
Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
- an undergarment covering the body from the shoulders to the hips, made of cotton, nylon, etcUS and Canadian equivalent: T-shirt, undershirt Austral equivalent: singlet
- a similar sleeveless garment worn as outerwearAustral equivalent: singlet
- US, Canadian and Australian a man's sleeveless waistlength garment worn under a suit jacket, usually buttoning up the frontAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): waistcoat
- obsolete any form of dress, esp a long robe
- (tr foll by in) to place or settle (power, rights, etc, in)power was vested in the committee
- (tr foll by with) to bestow or confer (on)the company was vested with authority
- (usually foll by in) to confer (a right, title, property, etc, upon) or (of a right, title, etc) to pass (to) or devolve (upon)
- (tr) to clothe or array
- (intr) to put on clothes, ecclesiastical vestments, etc
Word Origin and History for vest
1610s, "loose outer garment" (worn by men in Eastern countries or in ancient times), from French veste, from Italian vesta, veste "robe, gown," from Latin vestis, from vestire "to clothe" (see vest (v.)). The sleeveless garment worn by men beneath the coat was introduced by Charles II.
The King hath yesterday, in Council, declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes .... It will be a vest, I know not well how; but it is to teach the nobility thrift. [Pepys, "Diary," Oct. 8, 1666]