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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hedge

Verb

hedger noun
hedgingly \ ˈhe-​jiŋ-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms for hedge

Synonyms: Noun

barricade, barrier, fence, wall

Synonyms: Verb

equivocate, fudge, pussyfoot, tergiversate, waffle, weasel

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 To round out the property, the backyard holds a pool and spa bordered by hedges. Jack Flemming, latimes.com, "‘Glee’ actress Naya Rivera rocks a home sale in Los Feliz," 6 July 2018 Box hedges in planters are focal points and a nighttime fantasy ambiance is achieved by candles on the tables and twinkle lights entwined along the trees. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs and NWI: Don Quijote Restaurante in Valparaiso," 5 July 2018 The Spurs decided to hard hedge the screen, and Blossomgame and Jefferson kept their hands low to prevent guard Tyler Dorsey from making a pocket pass. Jabari Young, San Antonio Express-News, "Ledbetter staying true to his formula with Spurs Summer League team," 4 July 2018 Call it a tariff hedge To minimize confusion, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence submitted a string of questions from various organizations to the department this week to clarify interpretations of the new law. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky nonprofits scramble to figure out state's new sales tax laws," 21 June 2018 Longroad Energy expects the wind farm to be online in June 2019, and the company said the project has a 15-year energy hedge with Citigroup Energy Inc. Texas leads the U.S. with more than 22,000 megawatts of wind energy installed. Rye Druzin, Houston Chronicle, "Turbines on the way for $300 million wind farm," 15 June 2018 How could Brad compete with all that hedge-funding? Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "Brad Pitt’s “Professional Friendship” Partner Neri Oxman Spotted in Paris with Her Rumored Billionaire Boyfriend," 14 June 2018 Pulling garlic mustard and hedge parsley will be on the agenda, organizers said. Staff Report, Aurora Beacon-News, "PrairieFest Quilt Show coming to Oswego," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The quarter-acre lot, which is fenced and hedged, also holds a swimming pool with a cascading spa, a lawn and a detached guest house. Neal J. Leitereg, The Seattle Times, "Joe Jonas hopes sale will be a piece of cake," 21 Aug. 2018 Democrats are rolling in cash as liberal interest groups, unions and rich liberals are fired up, while business lobbies hedge their bets in case Nancy Pelosi is the next Speaker. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Democrats for Big Money," 15 Oct. 2018 The Saudi fund sees its investment in Tesla as a strategic way for the world’s biggest crude producer to hedge against oil. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Why Facebook banned Alex Jones — and why Twitter didn’t," 13 Aug. 2018 Application totals at most institutions have soared in recent years — up 7 percent, on average, in 2016 from the year before, the most recent cycle studied — as students hedged their bets and applied to more colleges than ever. Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post, "You got into the college of your dreams. But will you actually go there?," 29 Mar. 2018 If a defense hedges a ball screen, Michigan can burn it with Wagner's outside shot. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball humming on both ends, as postseason play looms," 24 Feb. 2018 Price Protections Many frackers hedged their oil production to insulate themselves from lower prices. Rebecca Elliott, WSJ, "Frackers’ Growth Ambitions Clouded by Drop in Oil Prices," 21 Nov. 2018 The promo videos also hedge the service's potential just a little bit, explicitly pointing out that home console play will continue to be the flagship experience. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Can Microsoft Finally Make Game Streaming Work?," 8 Oct. 2018 With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in tight contention, McConnell was hedging his bets. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "McConnell Argues Against Confirming New Justice This Year (If It Were 2016)," 27 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hedge

Statistics for hedge

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hedge

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

\ ˈhej\
hedged; hedging

Legal Definition of hedge

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on hedge

What made you want to look up hedge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!