- invest (v.)
- late 14c., "to clothe in the official robes of an office," from Latin investire "to clothe in, cover, surround," from in "in, into" (see in- (2)) + vestire "to dress, clothe," from PIE *wes-ti-, suffixed form of root *wes- (4) "to clothe" (see wear (v.)).
The meaning "use money to produce profit" first attested 1610s in connection with the East Indies trade, and is probably a borrowing of a special use of Italian investire (13c.) from the same Latin root, via the notion of giving one's capital a new form. Figurative sense of "to clothe (with attributes)" is from c. 1600. The military meaning "to besiege, surround with hostile intent" also is from c. 1600. Related: Invested; investing.