- a row of bushes or small trees planted close together, especially when forming a fence or boundary; hedgerow: small fields separated by hedges.
- any barrier or boundary: a hedge of stones.
- an act or means of preventing complete loss of a bet, an argument, an investment, or the like, with a partially counterbalancing or qualifying one.
- to enclose with or separate by a hedge: to hedge a garden.
- to surround and confine as if with a hedge; restrict (often followed by in, about, etc.): He felt hedged in by the rules of language.
- to protect with qualifications that allow for unstated contingencies or for withdrawal from commitment: He hedged his program against attack and then presented it to the board.
- to mitigate a possible loss by counterbalancing (one's bets, investments, etc.).
- to prevent or hinder free movement; obstruct: to be hedged by poverty.
- to avoid a rigid commitment by qualifying or modifying a position so as to permit withdrawal: He felt that he was speaking too boldly and began to hedge before they could contradict him.
- to prevent complete loss of a bet by betting an additional amount or amounts against the original bet.
- Finance. to enter transactions that will protect against loss through a compensatory price movement.
Origin of hedge
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for hedge
Dunham makes fun of herself only so that she can then hedge and embrace an authoritative role.Time to Grow Up, Lena Dunham
October 10, 2014
In 1998, when the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management blew up, the New York Fed helped organize a $3.65 billion bailout.The Incredible 'Wussiness' Of The Fed Vs Goldman Sachs—Caught On Tape
September 26, 2014
“Diversification” is a hedge fund wife eschewing a Lily Pulitzer tote bag in favor of one made by Sloane Ranger or Jonathan Adler.The Hell of the Hamptons: Why the Exclusive Hotspot Is a Mind-Numbing Drag
August 18, 2014
I used to work at an elite Manhattan hedge fund that recruited almost exclusively from the Ivy League and its equivalents.The Ivy League Provides the Best Trade Schools Around
August 17, 2014
But he is clearly focused on big picture social and political issues than he is on running money in his hedge fund.Don’t Count Rupert Murdoch Out Yet: Why The Magnate Hasn’t Given Up on Time Warner
July 16, 2014
A thrush sat in the hedge, and she was singing her morning song.A Little Book of Profitable Tales
Whose cow is that at the top of the ditch, half through my hedge?Tales And Novels, Volume 9 (of 10)
They heard only a crashing of boughs, the parting of the hedge.The Avenger
E. Phillips Oppenheim
She looked at him for a few moments, and then she threw the sally rod into the hedge.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
When the horn was sounded, he merely drew into the hedge and did not look round.People of Position
Stanley Portal Hyatt
- a row of shrubs, bushes, or trees forming a boundary to a field, garden, etc
- a barrier or protection against something
- the act or a method of reducing the risk of financial loss on an investment, bet, etc
- a cautious or evasive statement
- (modifier; often in combination) low, inferior, or illiteratea hedge lawyer
- (tr) to enclose or separate with or as if with a hedge
- (intr) to make or maintain a hedge, as by cutting and laying
- (tr; often foll by in, about, or around) to hinder, obstruct, or restrict
- (intr) to evade decision or action, esp by making noncommittal statements
- (tr) to guard against the risk of loss in (a bet, the paying out of a win, etc), esp by laying bets with other bookmakers
- (intr) to protect against financial loss through future price fluctuations, as by investing in futures
Word Origin and History for hedge
Old English hecg, originally any fence, living or artificial, from West Germanic *khagja (cf. Middle Dutch hegge, Dutch heg, Old High German hegga, German Hecke "hedge"), from PIE *kagh- "to catch, seize; wickerwork, fence" (cf. Latin caulae "a sheepfold, enclosure," Gaulish caio "circumvallation," Welsh cae "fence, hedge"). Related to Old English haga "enclosure, hedge" (see haw). Figurative sense of "boundary, barrier" is from mid-14c. Prefixed to any word, it "notes something mean, vile, of the lowest class" [Johnson], from contemptuous attributive sense of "plying one's trade under a hedge" (hedge-priest, hedge-lawyer, hedge-wench, etc.), a usage attested from 1530s.
late 14c., "make a hedge," also "surround with a barricade or palisade;" from hedge (n.). The sense of "dodge, evade" is first recorded 1590s. That of "insure oneself against loss," as in a bet, by playing something on the other side is from 1670s, originally with in; probably from an earlier use of hedge in meaning "secure (a debt) by including it in a larger one which has better security" (1610s). Related: Hedged; hedging. The noun in the wagering sense is from 1736.