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 againstin 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

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 For Alibaba, an IPO in Hong Kong represents a hedge in uncertain times. Tim Culpan And Nisha Gopalan | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Alibaba Seizes a Brief Window of Opportunity," 8 Nov. 2019 Some works in the Macklowes’ art collection went to their home in the Hamptons, where Mr. Macklowe famously feuded with a next-door neighbor, Ms. Stewart, over a hedge. James Barron, New York Times, "Billionaire’s Ugly Divorce Ignites Battle Over Spectacular Art Trove," 30 Oct. 2019 Among them were four dogs, 10 sugar gliders, a hedge hog, 14 birds and 60 adult rats with 23 babies. Leah Asmelash And Tina Burnside, CNN, "3 children were found living ankle-deep in trash in a house with 245 animals," 23 Oct. 2019 An inviting curb appeal begins at manicured hedges defining the front gardens, lush lawn and walkway to the tiled front porch. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Centralized San Mateo home close to downtown and SFO," 24 Sep. 2019 As a little prince with a pageboy haircut, Don Prospero Colonna di Paliano, Prince of Avella, played among the Roman statues and laurel and box hedges in the magnificent terraced gardens of his family’s 14th-century palace. Jason Horowitz, Town & Country, "Inside Palazzo Colonna, Rome's Last Great Sanctuary of Renaissance Splendor," 24 Sep. 2019 In May 2014, a large male puma hid behind a small hedge on a busy street in Mountain View for nine hours as pedestrians and bicyclists passed only a few feet away. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "California mountain lions dying on highways, but face an even bigger threat," 20 Sep. 2019 The government plan includes some of those recommendations, such as protecting insect habitats like meadows and hedges. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "€100 million German insect protection plan will protect habitats, restrict weed killers, and boost research," 6 Sep. 2019 One friend, Mia, received $30 million after her hedge funder husband divorced her. Jancee Dunn, Dallas News, "Decades after 'Sex and the City,' Candace Bushnell returns to her old stomping grounds," 5 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Weinkauf points out how the winery hopes to hedge against the effects of warming temperature. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Climate change is coming for your wine. What the world's wineries are doing to save grapes," 28 Aug. 2019 So Read is using derivatives to hedge that risk and so cap the cost. Washington Post, "Vodafone’s $4.5 Billion Happy Meal for Hedge Funds," 18 Sep. 2019 That meant that the bets traders used to hedge their risk were less effective. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Traders Wished for Volatility. The Fourth Quarter Wasn’t What They Had in Mind.," 17 Jan. 2019 Most hedged — declining to back her, but offering fuzzy answers that left room to do so later. Jonathan Tamari, Philly.com, "On Nancy Pelosi, most Dems in Pa., N.J. keep their distance," 3 May 2018 Never mind that Trump's tweet was hedged with cautious wording. Oren Liebermann, CNN, "Trump may no longer be the gift that keeps on giving for Netanyahu," 16 Sep. 2019 Sanders’ campaign manager and some officials endorsing Sanders are hedging expectations about New Hampshire and deny a loss in the state would sink his candidacy. Washington Post, "Sanders campaign makes leadership change in New Hampshire," 15 Sep. 2019 Gated, high-hedged and camera-secured, the mansion is barely visible from the public streetfront — nosy pedestrians will catch only a fleeting glimpse of the three-story beige behemoth through a wall of evergreen trees. Variety.com, The Mercury News, "Photos: Ex-Facebook VP asks $35 million for major-league Silicon Valley mansion," 12 Sep. 2019 Note that WeWork also hedges on this point, trying to promote its human side as well. Rani Molla, Vox, "How WeWork is trying to justify its tech company valuation," 14 Aug. 2019 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

13 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce hedge (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hedge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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