\ ˈhej How to pronounce hedge (audio) \

Definition of hedge

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a fence or boundary formed by a dense row of shrubs or low trees
b : barrier, limit pikemen … present a hedge of metal points from which any cavalry would flinch— Tom Wintringham regarded it as the main function of their existence to raise a hedge around the law— F. W. Farrar
2 : a means of protection or defense (as against financial loss) realization that common stocks are the best hedge against inflation— C. E. Merrill
3 : a calculatedly noncommittal or evasive statement bureaucratic literature … festooned with hedges and qualifications— Fortune


hedged; hedging

Definition of hedge (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to enclose or protect with or as if with a dense row of shrubs or low trees : to enclose or protect with or as if with a hedge (see hedge entry 1 sense 1a) : encircle homes hedged with boxwoods
2 : to confine so as to prevent freedom of movement or action : to obstruct with or as if with a barrier : hinder hedged about by special regulations and statutes— Sandi Rosenbloom
3 : to protect oneself from losing or failing by a counterbalancing action hedge a bet

intransitive verb

1 : to plant, form, or trim a hedge
2 : to evade the risk of commitment especially by leaving open a way of retreat : trim hedged on the issue
3 : to protect oneself financially usually used with against in order to hedge against inflation— George Katona : such as
a : to buy or sell commodity futures (see future entry 2 sense 3) as a protection against loss due to price fluctuation
b : to minimize the risk of a bet



Definition of hedge (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or designed for a hedge (see hedge entry 1) a hedge plant hedge selling on the commodity exchanges
2 : born, living, or made alongside or as if alongside a dense row of shrubs or low trees : born, living, or made near or as if near hedges (see hedge entry 1 sense 1a) : roadside the services of a hedge parson a hedge wedding
3 : inferior sense 1 a hedge tavern

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Other Words from hedge


hedger noun
hedgingly \ ˈhe-​jiŋ-​lē How to pronounce hedge (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for hedge

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of hedge in a Sentence

Noun the messenger was confronted with a hedge of spears held aloft by the castle guards Verb The garden is hedged by flowering shrubs. She hedged when she was asked to support the campaign. He hedged his earlier comments about the need for new management.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun GameStop frenzy showed a fresh contempt for hedge funds. Editors, USA TODAY, "Winter storm, GameStop hearing, NASA's Perseverance to land on Mars: 5 things to know Thursday," 18 Feb. 2021 The drama entangled huge short-selling hedge funds, a social media message board and ordinary investors wanting in on the hottest new trade. Marcy Gordon, Star Tribune, "Robinhood CEO defends actions in GameStop saga at hearing," 18 Feb. 2021 The drama entangled huge short-selling hedge funds, a social media message board and ordinary investors wanting in on the hottest new trade. Marcy Gordon, ajc, "Robinhood CEO defends actions in GameStop saga at hearing," 18 Feb. 2021 Gill is scheduled to testify alongside CEOs from Robinhood, Reddit, and Melvin Capital, one of the hedge funds that lost billions shorting GameStop. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "Reddit trader 'Roaring Kitty' accused of holding 'extensive' financial licenses in GameStop stock manipulation lawsuit," 17 Feb. 2021 The move caused hedge funds and other Wall Street investors who had bet against GameStop to lose huge sums of money and rattled the broader market. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, "Reddit's 5-second Super Bowl ad honored its 'underdogs' in GameStop frenzy," 8 Feb. 2021 The Wall Street Journal has reported on huge gains by traditional hedge funds joining the pile-on in January. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, "Taylor: Stop the Game. Stop," 8 Feb. 2021 The big losses those little guys inflicted on some hedge funds by bidding up the stock was seen as a democratization of the market. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "GameStop Frenzy Is Tough Call for Regulators Focused on Transparency," 7 Feb. 2021 The Reddit crowd was allegedly driving up silver’s price in an attempt to put a squeeze on Wall Street hedge funds that have shorted the metal. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "From WallStreetBets to William Jennings Bryan: Why America’s financial populists love a good silver rally," 6 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Derivatives allow companies to hedge their risk,... Heath Tarbert, WSJ, "A New Pact Will Help Derivatives Markets," 16 Sep. 2020 The purchase of bullish call options can feed into gains for underlying stocks, because dealers that sell the contracts may seek to hedge against rising prices by buying the shares. Joe Wallace, WSJ, "GameStop Stock Jumps to New Record," 25 Jan. 2021 With the addition of 6-foot-6 swing players Cedrick Alley Jr. and Eric Parrish, UTSA also aimed to attack screens this year, jumping out to hedge rather than sagging back toward the basket. Greg Luca, ExpressNews.com, "UTSA searching for defensive answers after rocky start," 21 Jan. 2021 The novel marketplace allows speculators to make money betting on future prices of California water while allowing farmers, businesses and municipal suppliers to hedge against price swings and stabilize their costs. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "Investors can now trade on and profit from California water — how might that work out?," 16 Dec. 2020 The deal also allows Aurora to hedge its bet on long-haul trucking. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Uber abandons dreams of self-driving domination, sells self-driving unit," 7 Dec. 2020 In recent years, the companies’ stock investors — mostly hedge funds at this point — have clamored loudly for the return of these companies to private hands. Michael Taylor, ExpressNews.com, "Taylor: The unfinished business of Fannie and Freddie," 5 Jan. 2021 In an interview on Friday, Canada's Minister of International Development Karina Gould said her country needed to hedge its bets because most vaccines are still in development and thus only theoretical. David Mckenzie, CNN, "Despite promises of solidarity on Covid-19, rich countries are snapping up the supply of promising vaccines," 13 Dec. 2020 In an effort to hedge its bets, Britain pre-purchased hundreds of millions of doses of several different vaccine candidates in development. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "As U.K. Begins Vaccinations, a Glimpse of Life After Covid," 8 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Goliaths are mostly hedge funds who are shorting those stocks — in other words, big-shot investors placing bets that those shares will crash. Allison Morrow, CNN, "Confused about this GameStop saga? Here are the 5 things you need to know," 30 Jan. 2021 There are also hedge funds and private equity funds. Nellie Bowles, New York Times, "Join Us in Miami! Love, Masters of the Universe," 29 Jan. 2021 Billionaire Dallas investor Mark Cuban expressed his pleasure with a new generation of investors getting involved in the market and drew similarities to how hedge funds and brokerages operate Thursday on CNBC’s Squawk Box. Dom Difurio, Dallas News, "Mark Cuban: WallStreetBets trend could have positive, long-lasting effects," 28 Jan. 2021 Hedge fund managers will still get pinched, Mnuchin said. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Here's how Louise Linton could change the tax debate," 23 Aug. 2017 Press Secretary Sean Spicer abruptly resigned Friday morning after President Trump made clear his intent to hire former hedge fund executive Anthony Scaramucci as his next communications director. Zeke J Miller, Time, "A President Trump Staff Shake-Up," 21 July 2017 Hedge fund industry executive Anthony Scaramucci, an advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, has been named chief strategy officer of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a source familiar with the appointment said on Tuesday. Reuters, Fortune, "Trump Ally Scaramucci Might Be Landing Post at Export-Import Bank," 28 June 2017 Once only a curiosity with strong appeal to libertarians and technologists, bitcoin's supporters now include hedge fund managers, titans of industry and a former Treasury secretary. Tribune News Service, OregonLive.com, "Bitcoin moves beyond mere curiosity as value skyrockets," 7 June 2017 Other island residents include: pharmaceutical billionaire Phillip Frost and his wife, Patricia; hedge fund operator Wayne Holden; and Latin music power couple Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Jennifer Boehm, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Star Island mansion formerly owned by Lennar co-founder listed for $49M," 1 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hedge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hedge


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hedge

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

Middle English hegge, from Old English hecg; akin to Old English haga hedge, hawthorn

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Time Traveler for hedge

Time Traveler

The first known use of hedge was before the 12th century

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Statistics for hedge

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hedge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hedge. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for hedge



English Language Learners Definition of hedge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a row of shrubs or small trees that are planted close to each other in order to form a boundary
: something that provides protection or defense



English Language Learners Definition of hedge (Entry 2 of 2)

: to surround (an area) with a hedge
: to avoid giving a promise or direct answer


\ ˈhej How to pronounce hedge (audio) \

Kids Definition of hedge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a fence or boundary made up of a thick growth of shrubs or low trees


hedged; hedging

Kids Definition of hedge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to surround or protect with a thick growth of shrubs or low trees The yard is hedged by shrubs.
2 : to avoid giving a direct or exact answer or promise The more questions I asked, the more he hedged.
\ ˈhej \
hedged; hedging

Legal Definition of hedge

: to reduce possible losses in speculative transactions by engaging in offsetting transactions (as futures trading)

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