play close to the vest

vest

[vest]
noun
1.
a close-fitting, waist-length, sleeveless garment that buttons down the front, designed to be worn under a jacket.
2.
a part or trimming simulating the front of such a garment; vestee. Compare dickey1 ( def 1 ).
3.
a waist-length garment worn for protective purposes: a bulletproof vest.
4.
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.
5.
British. an undervest or undershirt.
6.
a long garment resembling a cassock, worn by men in the time of Charles II.
7.
Archaic.
a.
dress; apparel.
b.
an outer garment, robe, or gown.
c.
an ecclesiastical vestment.
verb (used with object)
8.
to clothe; dress; robe.
9.
to dress in ecclesiastical vestments: to vest a bishop.
10.
to cover or drape (an altar).
11.
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.
12.
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.
verb (used without object)
13.
to put on vestments.
14.
to become vested in a person, as a right.
15.
to devolve upon a person as possessor; pass into possession or ownership.
Idioms
16.
play it close to the vest, Informal. to avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Origin:
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, adjective
vestlike, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
vest (vɛst)
 
n
1.  T-shirt, US and Canadian equivalent: undershirt, Austral equivalent: singlet an undergarment covering the body from the shoulders to the hips, made of cotton, nylon, etc
2.  Austral equivalent: singlet a similar sleeveless garment worn as outerwear
3.  (US), (Canadian), (Austral) Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): waistcoat a man's sleeveless waistlength garment worn under a suit jacket, usually buttoning up the front
4.  obsolete any form of dress, esp a long robe
 
vb (foll by in) (foll by with)
5.  to place or settle (power, rights, etc, in): power was vested in the committee
6.  to bestow or confer (on): the company was vested with authority
7.  (usually foll by in) to confer (a right, title, property, etc, upon) or (of a right, title, etc) to pass (to) or devolve (upon)
8.  (tr) to clothe or array
9.  (intr) to put on clothes, ecclesiastical vestments, etc
 
[C15: from Old French vestir to clothe, from Latin vestīre, from vestis clothing]
 
'vestless
 
adj
 
'vestlike
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

vest
c.1425, "to put in possession of a person," from M.Fr. vestir, from M.L. vestire "to put into possession, to invest," from L. vestire "to clothe," related to vestis "garment, clothing," from PIE *wes- "to clothe" (see wear). Vested "established, secured, settled" is attested from 1766.

vest
1613, "loose outer garment" (worn by men in Eastern countries or in ancient times), from Fr. veste, from It. vesta, veste "robe, gown," from L. 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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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