• vest •
vest • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun, Verb
Meaning: 1. [Noun] A sleeveless shirt or jacket. 2. [Verb] To grant control or authority to someone or some group, to place or invest, as to vest trust in someone or something.
Notes: The participle-adjective from this verb, vested, has several meanings. It can mean "dressed in ecclesiastical garb", as a vested priest, or just "having a vest" as a vested suit. In its reference to clothing, it refers to a related word, vestments, the liturgical clothing worn in some religions. In law it means "legal without any contingency" as a vested right or inheritance or "providing an advantage" as in vested interest.
In Play: Since the article of clothing (a vest) is familiar to everyone, today we will focus on the verb to vest: "I think it would be a mistake to vest much faith in the law firm of Dewey, Cheatham & Howe." This verb is used most frequently in its past participle form: "The right to run the household was vested in the elder son by the will."
Word History: As odd as it seems, the two meanings of today's Good Word diverged from the single meaning of "to clothe, to dress". The original Proto-Indo-European root *wes- has precisely that meaning. In northern England it underwent rhotacism ([s] > [r] between vowels) to become Old English werian, which went on to become wear. In Latin the [w] became [v], resulting in vestis "garment", something worn. The original sense of the verb meaning "to grant authority" was to place authority on a person as you would vestments of authority. (We thank Michael Oberndorf for vesting in us the opportunity to vet today's Good Word before our most fortunate subscribers.)
Come visit our website at <https://www.alphadictionary.com> for more Good Words and other language resources!