hedge

noun
\ ˈhej \

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

hedge

verb
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

hedge

adjective

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 3 a hedge tavern

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Other words from hedge

Verb

hedger noun
hedgingly \ˈhe-jiŋ-lē \ adverb

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

The ball took a hop over the wall into a hedge, and Iglesias had to stop at third. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers betrayed by bullpen in crushing 5-4 loss to Athletics," 25 June 2018 In batting practice, Johnson showed his power to all fields and hit three home runs into the hedge beyond the 407-foot center field wall. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Marlins’ 17-year old second-round draft choice signs, shows home run power potential," 25 June 2018 The hedges my grandfather meticulously trimmed are overgrown. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "The best Italian sub around, with mayo and memories," 18 June 2018 Under $100: Power tools for all that yard work Sick of trimming the hedges with a pair of shears? Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "These are the 5 best Amazon deals of the weekend," 16 June 2018 The hedge is likely to occur in September or October. Amy Stillman, Bloomberg.com, "Pemex's Trevino Rushes to Put House in Order Before Elections," 16 May 2018 The lowest-price accommodations would mean a single crypt that faces the hedge. Anne Geggis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Boca Raton makes room for more final resting places," 5 Apr. 2018 Lombardy poplars, cypress and box hedges evoke a sense of the Mediterranean. Janet Eastman, OregonLive.com, "Portland price breaker: Storied mansion sells for $7 million (photos)," 19 Feb. 2018 The regulator had accused Michael L. Cohen, who led the hedge-fund’s European office, and Vanja Baros, an executive for Africa deals, of orchestrating a sprawling scheme to bribe various African officials in exchange for business. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "Judge Dismisses SEC Suit Against Former Och-Ziff Executives," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Shearing hedges with a power hedge trimmer or clippers encourages a shell of dense growth around the outside of the plants that blocks air. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "You may love the look of lush perennials, but too-close plants breed problems," 27 June 2018 Among other things, some manufacturers say they’re hedging bets in case the market shifts again, especially in the event of a major surge in energy prices. NBC News, "Ford to stop making all passenger cars except the Mustang," 26 Apr. 2018 Experts typically hedge against this by printing multiple fingers at once and relying on optical techniques that are more capable of dealing with abrasion. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "How facial recognition helped police identify the Capital Gazette shooter," 29 June 2018 To hedge itself, Monster is also issuing 75 million shares of common stock. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Friday, June 1," 1 June 2018 Nevertheless, the organization wisely hedged its bets during the offseason by keeping around Nick Foles at a pretty hefty price. Bob Ford, Philly.com, "Eagles know when to hold 'em, know when to Foles 'em | Bob Ford," 28 May 2018 Give yourself a week or more and a few dozen miles on a shoe or boot before a big trip and to hedge your bets against foot pain. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "What to Splurge on (and Avoid) When Buying Gear," 22 June 2018 Companies are hedging, though, as synthetic quality improves with similar physical characteristics as natural diamonds and as competition heats up. Mike Rogoway, OregonLive.com, "Diamonds in Gresham: De Beers will build $94 million synthetic gem factory," 31 May 2018 What Giuliani is hedging on here is when Trump knew about the repayment. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "21 head-scratching lines from a(nother) disastrous Rudy Giuliani interview," 7 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 She and hedge fund manager James Matthews married at a church in rural England. Kevin Scotta And Gregory Katz, chicagotribune.com, "An almost royal wedding: Pippa Middleton ties the knot in England," 20 May 2017 Hedge funds holding sales-tax bonds called Cofinas also sued to prevent Puerto Rico... Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Puerto Rico Creditors Sue Over Debt-Cutting Plans," 2 May 2017 A federal tax break that benefits hedge fund executives and other wealthy Wall Street investment managers will be targeted by President Trump's tax overhaul, a top White House official said Sunday. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "Aide says Trump tax plan will target Wall Street carried interest deduction," 30 Apr. 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

Noun

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

Verb

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hedge

Noun

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

Verb

see hedge entry 1

Adjective

see hedge entry 1

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Learn More about hedge

Statistics for hedge

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hedge

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

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More Definitions for hedge

hedge

noun

Financial Definition of hedge

What It Is

In finance, a hedge is a strategy intended to protect an investment or portfolio against loss. It usually involves buying securities that move in the opposite direction than the asset being protected.

How It Works

Let's assume part of your investment portfolio includes 100 shares of Company XYZ, which manufactures autos. Because the auto industry is cyclical (meaning Company XYZ usually sells more cars and is more profitable during economic booms and sells fewer cars and is less profitable during economic slumps), Company XYZ shares will probably be worth less if the economy starts to deteriorate. How do you protect your investment?

One way is to buy defensive stocks. These stocks might be from the food, utility, or other industries that sell productsThe definition of hedge on InvestingAnswers that consumers consider basic necessities. During economic slumps, these stocks tend to gain or at least hold their value. Thus, these stocks may gain when your XYZ shares lose.

Another way to hedge is to purchase a put option contract on the shares (this would essentially allow you to "lock in" a particular sale price on XYZ, so even if the stock crashed, you wouldn't suffer much). You could also sell a futures contract, promising to sell your stock at a set price at a certain point in the future.

Why It Matters

Hedging is like buying insurance. It is protection against unforeseen events, but investors usually hope they never have to use it. Consider why almost everyone buys homeowner's insurance. Because the odds of having one’s house destroyed are relatively small, this may seem like a foolish investment. But our homes are very valuable to us and we would be devastated by their loss. Using options to hedge your portfolio essentially does the same thing. Should a stock or portfolio take an unforeseen turn, holding an option opposite of your position will help to limit your losses.

Portfolio hedging is an important technique to learn. Although the calculations can be complex, most investors find that even a reasonable approximation will deliver a satisfactory hedge. Hedging is especially helpful when an investor has experienced an extended period of gains and feels this increase might not be sustainable in the future. Like all investment strategies, hedging requires a little planning before executing a trade. However, the security that this strategy provides could make it well worth the time and effort.

Source: Investing Answers

hedge

noun

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

hedge

verb

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

hedge

noun
\ ˈhej \

Kids Definition of hedge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

hedge

verb
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.

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\ 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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Comments on hedge

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