A vest is a garment covering the upper body. Often only the back of the upper body though. The term has different meanings around the world:

(a sleeveless under-jacket). This is called a waistcoat in the UK and many Commonwealth countries, or a vest in the US and Canada. It is often worn as part of formal attire, or as the third piece of a lounge suit.
(an undergarment, normally worn under a shirt). It is known as an A-shirt or tank top in the US and Canada, vest in the UK and many Commonwealth countries, and singlet in Australia.
Other sleeveless jackets
Vest may refer to other outer garments, such as a sports tank top, or a padded sleeveless jacket popular for hunting, commonly known as a hunting vest. Another common variant is the fishing vest which carries a profusion of external pockets for carrying fishing tackle. The term jerkin is also used to refer to this sort of sleeveless outdoor coat.
A sweater vest (American and Canadian English)
This may also be called a slipover, sleeveless sweater, or, in British English, a tank top. .
This Indian garment is commonly called a vest in Indian English.

Read more about Vest:  Etymology

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Famous quotes containing the word vest:

    And Truth, in sunny vest arrayed,
    By whose the tarsel’s eyes were made;
    William Collins (1721–1759)

    Here at the fountain’s sliding foot,
    Or at some fruit-tree’s mossy root,
    Casting the body’s vest aside,
    My soul into the boughs does glide:
    There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
    Then whets and combs its silver wings,
    And, till prepared for longer flights,
    Waves in its plumes the various light.
    Andrew Marvell (1621–1678)