vested interest

noun
1.
a special interest in an existing system, arrangement, or institution for particular personal reasons.
2.
a permanent right given to an employee under a pension plan.
3.
vested interests, the persons, groups, etc., who benefit the most from existing business or financial systems.

Origin:
1810–20

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
vested interest
 
n
1.  property law an existing and disposable right to the immediate or future possession and enjoyment of property
2.  a strong personal concern in a state of affairs, system, etc, usually resulting in private gain
3.  a person or group that has such an interest

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

vested interest definition


A phrase that indicates a deep personal (and possibly financial) interest in some political or economic proposal: “As a major stockholder of the Ford Motor Company, Senator Bilge had a vested interest in legislation restricting the import of Japanese autos.” The plural, vested interests, often refers to powerful, wealthy property holders: “His radical policies enraged vested interests.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

vested interest

A personal stake in something, as in She has a vested interest in keeping the house in her name. This term, first recorded in 1818, uses vested in the sense of "established" or "secured."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Understandably, these firms have a vested interest in improved security.
Only what is convenient to the agenda or vested interest of the oligarchs is
  funded.
Or, they might have a vested interest in the answer.
There is a vested interest in the status quo in the nuclear power industry.
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