\ 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If there is a time to avoid when pruning it would be the late fall or early winter when actively growing normally hardy hedge plants would be susceptible to a freeze. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 24 Sep. 2022 There was one creature, though, that, instead of finding hedge clippers or a chainsaw, hilariously threatened passers-by with an ear of corn, and not even a particularly pointy one. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 18 Sep. 2022 According to Citigroup, the U.S. dollar is the only sensible hedge against looming economic headwinds that will destroy riskier assets’ value. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 16 Sep. 2022 In Alabama, copperheads are mostly found in forested areas, but they can also be found in floodplains, along streams and in hedge rows, according to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Moira Ritter The Charlotte Observer (tns), al, 12 Sep. 2022 The liquidation will also mean that some three dozen hedge funds that had committed to providing $1 billion in additional financing will not have to come up with that cash. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2022 The Servicing segment posted a profit of $620 million, and represents a robust hedge against the originations business which is currently in the midst of a slowdown. Moneyshow, Forbes, 18 Aug. 2022 There used to be a full hedge maze, Francie tells me, maybe still is, hidden somewhere. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper’s Magazine , 17 Aug. 2022 Second, precious metals have historically been a solid hedge investment against inflation. Iron Monk Solutions, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The idea is to hedge your bets, since some of those areas will come out ahead, but not all of them will. Jeanne Sahadi, CNN, 21 Sep. 2022 This is the exact problem that YouTube seems to be trying to hedge its bets against. Megan Mccluskey, Time, 20 Sep. 2022 To hedge its bets, the group split in two and fled in different directions. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, 8 Sep. 2022 Your strategy could be to invest in several in different industries or choose the same industry to hedge your bets among competitors. Jodie Cook, Forbes, 10 Aug. 2022 But Murdoch, who controls a vast swath of the political media world, has spent decades learning to ride the waves of U.S. politics and hedge his bets on candidates. Jeremy Barr, Washington Post, 30 July 2022 Doing so would require Japan to assume the expense and risk of acquiring and sustaining an independent military capability—thereby freeing itself from having to hedge bets on a provocative China or a distracted America. Richard J. Samuels, WSJ, 28 July 2022 And with fears growing that flows along the Nord Stream will remain constrained for the foreseeable future, European officials have attempted to hedge their bets by boosting gas supplies from more reliable and stable Norwegian producers. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 5 July 2022 The studio won’t need to hedge its bets by reducing its financial exposure and taking on partners. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Goldman Sachs analysts recently said that mutual and hedge funds are conservatively positioned. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2022 Now two years after his death, his parents, Angel Jaquez, 71, and Janis Jaquez, 61, reminisced about their son in a sit-down interview with The Courant in their backyard surrounded by flowerpots and a hedge fence. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 18 July 2022 Resembles a hedge trimmer':A man visiting Florida wanted to catch a shark. Brian Broom, USA TODAY, 13 Apr. 2022 Traditional venture firms have been raising new funds quickly, while hedge funds and private-equity investors have moved into the market. Eliot Brown, WSJ, 2 Jan. 2022 Essentially, a coordinated group of retail traders grew upset at how hedge funds make money by betting that struggling companies' stocks will decline in value. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, 2 June 2021 Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital, which invests billions in hedge funds for wealthy individual clients, has created special-purpose vehicles dedicated to investments in private companies. Juliet Chung, WSJ, 19 May 2021 The filing, a quarterly rundown of holdings required of hedge funds of a certain size, said the position was worth $534 million -- an amount likely derived by multiplying Tesla’s share price on March 31 by the number of shares Scion bet against. Jeremy Herron, Fortune, 18 May 2021 Its investments, which include holdings in mutual and hedge funds, increased to $635.3 million in 2020, up from $187.8 million in 2010. R.t. Watson, WSJ, 21 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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


Middle English hegge, heyg "fence formed by a row of shrubs, bush, underbrush," going back to Old English *hecg "fence formed by shrubs, boundary fence," attested in dative hegge, hecge (also Old English hecge, weak feminine noun, in same sense), going back to Germanic *hagjō (whence also Middle Dutch hegghe "hedge," Old High German hegga "palisade," Middle High German hegge, hecke "hedge"), derivative of a base *hag- "enclosure formed by shrubs" — more at haw entry 1


Middle English heggen, hedgyn "to make a hedge, fence in with a hedge," derivative of hegge, heyg hedge entry 1


from attributive use of hedge entry 1

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Time Traveler for hedge

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

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Dictionary Entries Near hedge



hedge accentor

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Last Updated

28 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hedge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hedge. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for hedge


\ 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.


intransitive verb
\ ˈhej \
hedged; hedging

Legal Definition of hedge

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

More from Merriam-Webster on hedge

Nglish: Translation of hedge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hedge for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hedge


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