AskDefine | Define divest

Dictionary Definition

divest

Verb

1 take away possessions from someone; "The Nazis stripped the Jews of all their assets" [syn: deprive, strip]
2 deprive of status or authority; "he was divested of his rights and his title"; "They disinvested themselves of their rights" [syn: disinvest] [ant: invest]
3 reduce or dispose of; cease to hold (an investment); "The company decided to divest"; "the board of trustees divested $20 million in real estate property"; "There was pressure on the univeristy to disinvest in South Africa" [syn: disinvest] [ant: invest]
4 remove (someone's or one's own) clothes; "The nurse quickly undressed the accident victim"; "She divested herself of her outdoor clothes"; "He disinvested himself of his garments" [syn: strip, undress, disinvest]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Verb

  1. To remove all of one's clothing; to strip.
  2. In the context of "archaic|figurative": To strip, deprive or dispossess oneself of something (such as a right, passion, privilege or prejudice).
    You shall never divest my right to free speech.
    When I wake up, I make a point to divest myself all of my prejudices, ready to start the day.

Extensive Definition

This article covers business divestments, for the social and political uses of divestment, see Disinvestment.
In finance and economics, divestment or divestiture is the reduction of some kind of asset for either financial goals or ethical objectives. A divestment is the opposite of an investment.

Divestment for financial goals

Often the term is used as a means to grow financially in which a company sells off a business unit in order to focus their resources on a market it judges to be more profitable, or promising. Sometimes, such an action can be a spin-off. (For the United States); Divestment of certain parts of a company can occur when required by the Federal Trade Commission before a merger with another firm is approved. A company can divest assets to wholly owned subsidiaries.
The largest, and likely most-famous, corporate divestiture in history was the 1984 U.S. Department of Justice-mandated breakup of the Bell System into AT&T and the seven Baby Bells.

External links

divest in German: Desinvestition
divest in Norwegian: Avhendelse

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abridge, bankrupt, bare, bereave, bleed, bleed white, curtail, cut off, denudate, denude, deplume, deprive, deprive of, despoil, disencumber, disentitle, disinherit, dismantle, displume, dispossess, disrobe, doff, drain, dry, ease one of, exhaust, expose, flay, fleece, impoverish, lay bare, lay open, lighten one of, lose, milk, mine, mulct, oust, pick clean, pluck, plunder, put off, relieve, remove, rid, rob, shear, skin, spoil, strip, strip bare, suck dry, take away from, take from, take off, tap, uncloak, unclothe, uncover, undress, unsheathe, unveil
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