hedge

noun
\ 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

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 How to pronounce hedgingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for hedge

Synonyms: Noun

barricade, barrier, fence, wall

Synonyms: Verb

equivocate, fudge, pussyfoot, tergiversate, waffle, weasel

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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

Historians estimate that almost one quarter of city streets were once outfitted with rose hedges before the fervor died down in the mid-1920s. Janet Eastman, OregonLive.com, "See why Portland's called the 'City of Roses' at Oregon Historical Society exhibit (photos, video)," 8 May 2018 The $238-million price tag dwarfs the previous record of $137 million, which hedge-fund manager Barry Rosenstein reportedly paid for a home in East Hampton. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Ken Griffin's $238-Million NYC Penthouse Is the Most Expensive Home in America," 30 Jan. 2019 Manicured box hedges and formal landscaping complete the walled and gated setting. Neal J. Leitereg, latimes.com, "Tyra Banks buttons up another home sale in Pacific Palisades," 3 July 2018 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 In 2014 Continental suffered a severe blow when Mr Hamm rashly unwound its oil hedges in the mistaken belief that falling oil prices would swiftly bottom out. The Economist, "American shale-oil producers are on a roll," 10 May 2018 Slowly but surely, however, more hawkish elements within the Iranian political establishment would win the argument that a nuclear weapon was their only hedge against an American invasion. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Buys Netanyahu’s Bad Case for Abandoning the Iran Deal," 1 May 2018 The Yankees on Monday agreed to one-year, $5 million deal with free agent second baseman Neil Walker, their latest hedge against the development of prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "Second baseman Neil Walker, Yankees agree to one-year deal," 12 Mar. 2018 Perhaps most telling of all were the massive pink and blue balloon arches that reached high above Martin's hedges. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Dakota Johnson Denies Rumors That She's Expecting Her First Child With Chris Martin," 8 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With neither coal nor nuclear to hedge against sunless and windless days, Germany is pursuing natural-gas imports from Russia, which creates geopolitical risk — aka dependence on President Vladimir Putin. Charles Lane, Twin Cities, "Charles Lane: If Germany wants to achieve climate neutrality, it needs nuclear power," 5 June 2019 Microsoft may have been hedging its bets against an upstart competitor, but Netscape saw the overture as an intimidation tactic. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Later, Navigator: How Netscape Won and Then Lost the World Wide Web," 4 Apr. 2019 One of the reasons why John Beilein stuck with Jordan Morgan for most of Mitch McGary's freshman season had to do with the fact that Morgan was the only five on the team who could hedge and recover without collapsing. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Ask Nick: Can Michigan basketball get to LCA and what about seeding?," 9 Mar. 2018 Perhaps Manafort has again hedged his bets, hoping to mitigate his situation or precipitate a pardon. Sean Illing, Vox, "Manafort is cooperating with Mueller. 8 legal experts explain what that means for Trump.," 14 Sep. 2018 Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press Mr. Trump also hedged on his chief of staff. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Trump Says DHS Secretary Nielsen Needs to Get ‘Much Tougher’," 18 Nov. 2018 In April, Trump selected Jim Bridenstine, a Republican Congress member from Oklahoma who hedged on humanity’s role in rising temperatures, to lead NASA. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Trump finally picked a science adviser. He’s a meteorologist. Named Kelvin.," 1 Aug. 2018 By allowing users to create almost any bet, even obscure ones, players on the betting platform can potentially hedge against anything. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Ethereum-Based Blockchain Betting Platform Augur Just Launched. Here's Why It's Not Married to Either," 9 July 2018 In Asia countries may hedge against America’s unreliability by cosying up to China or by arming themselves, accelerating a destabilising arms race. The Economist, "Donald Trump’s demolition theory of foreign policy won’t work," 7 June 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, Verb, and Adjective

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

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Statistics for hedge

Last Updated

23 May 2019

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 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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on hedge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hedge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hedge

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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