[ vest ]
/ vɛst /
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See synonyms for: vest / vested on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
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Idioms about vest

    play it close to the vest, Informal. to avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Origin of vest

1375–1425; (noun) late Middle English <Italian veste robe, dress <Latin vestis garment; (v.) late Middle English <Middle French vestir<Latin vestīre to clothe, derivative of vestis; akin to wear


vestless, adjectivevestlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of vest?

A vest is an article of clothing worn on the upper body, with no sleeves and with buttons down the front. The word vest is also used generally to refer to any similar garment. As a verb, vest means to put something in the possession of another person. Vest has several other senses as a noun and a verb.

In the United States, the word vest refers to a sleeveless garment usually worn over a shirt and sometimes under a jacket. A vest is generally not supposed to be worn by itself.

  • Real-life examples: The Disney cartoon character Goofy usually wears a black or brown vest over an orange shirt. If you wear a tuxedo, you will often wear a vest with it.
  • Used in a sentence: A man’s three-piece suit includes a suit coat, vest, and trousers.

The word vest is also used to refer to other garments that lack sleeves and end at the waist.

  • Real-life examples: Police officers wear bulletproof vests for protection. Airplanes, boats, and public pools keep life vests available to keep people from drowning. Hunters wear hunting vests with many pockets to store supplies.
  • Used in a sentence: The professor could always be seen smoking a pipe and wearing a sweater vest.

As a verb, vest means to give power, rights, or responsibility to another person. This sense of vest is usually written as “vest in.”

  • Real-life example: Most Americans are likely familiar with this sense of vest if they have attended a wedding: A religious figure will alert the attendees that a state has vested in them the power and authority to join people in a legally recognized marriage.
  • Used in a sentence: Executive power is vested in the President through the Constitution.

Where does vest come from?

The first records of the noun vest come from around 1375. It ultimately comes from the Latin vestis, meaning “garment.” The verb vest comes from the Latin vestīre, meaning “to clothe.”

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What are some other forms related to vest?

  • vested (adjective, past tense verb)
  • vestless (adjective)
  • vestlike (adjective)

What are some synonyms for vest?

What are some words that share a root or word element with vest

What are some words that often get used in discussing vest?

How is vest used in real life?

Vest is most often used to mean an article of clothing.

Try using vest!

True or False?

A vest is an article of clothing that stops at the waist, has long sleeves, and is usually buttoned down the front.

How to use vest in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vest

/ (vɛst) /


Derived forms of vest

vestless, adjectivevestlike, adjective

Word Origin for vest

C15: from Old French vestir to clothe, from Latin vestīre, from vestis clothing
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