\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hedge


hedger noun
hedgingly \ ˈhe-​jiŋ-​lē How to pronounce hedge (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for hedge

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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 Hong Kong’s top officials are preparing a package of tax breaks and other financial incentives to lure Wall Street banks, hedge funds, and private equity firms to set up shop in the city. Fortune, "Grab, Gojek and Sea: The 3-way battle for Southeast Asia’s $2.8 trillion market," 8 Apr. 2021 By doing everything from starting hedge funds and tech companies to breeding pigs and brewing kombucha. Lisette Voytko, Forbes, "How Billionaires Got So Rich In 2021," 8 Apr. 2021 SPACs have become hot investments for everyone from hedge funds to individual investors. Dave Michaels, WSJ, "SEC Official Warns on Growth of Blank-Check Firms," 7 Apr. 2021 To entice the wealthy, Hong Kong is completing work on a big tax break that will primarily benefit private equity, hedge funds and other investors. New York Times, "Hong Kong Courts the Rich as China Tightens Its Grip," 7 Apr. 2021 The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which was passed in the wake of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, repealed that exemption to ensure hedge funds and other private fund advisers that may have fewer than 15 clients had to register with the agency. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Leverage, Leverage, Leverage," 31 Mar. 2021 Yellen said the examination of last year’s financial market turmoil would include a review of potential reforms for money market mutual funds and the operation of hedge funds. Martin Crutsinger, ajc, "Yellen says regulatory panel to look at 2020 market turmoil," 31 Mar. 2021 Yellen said the examination of last year's financial market turmoil would include a review of potential reforms for money market mutual funds and the operation of hedge funds. Martin Crutsinger, Star Tribune, "Yellen says regulatory panel to look at 2020 market turmoil," 31 Mar. 2021 Unlike hedge funds, Archegos is not allowed to manage outside money. Matt Egan, CNN, "Hedge fund meltdown: Elizabeth Warren suggests regulators should've seen it coming," 30 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As Beijing quashes freedoms in Hong Kong, asserts itself in the South China Sea and turns its crosshairs toward Taiwan, the Biden administration is building a more overt set of alliances to hedge against China. Washington Post, "Where the U.S. and China go from here," 22 Mar. 2021 Throughout history, science has been our species’ hedge against the uncertainties of our world. Henry Dacosta, Scientific American, "In the Path of Halley’s Comet, Humanity Might Find Its Way Forward," 10 Mar. 2021 The prices are paid by wholesale buyers and generators who did not purchase power ahead of time to hedge their risks, which acts as a penalty for generators who fail to produce power. NBC News, "Who's really left holding the bag for those sky-high electricity bills in Texas?," 24 Feb. 2021 However, lawn mower blades and hedge clippers of decent size call for something a little heavier duty. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, "How to Sharpen a Knife (in 8 Simple Steps)," 10 Feb. 2021 Enables some investors to hedge positions and mitigate risk in a diversified portfolio. David Bahnsen, Washington Examiner, "The GameStop/Reddit story goes beyond 'us vs. them'," 4 Feb. 2021 The Rams are not expected to be major players in the first wave of free agency, which could be marked by an increase in one-year contracts as players and teams hedge their bets that the cap will increase in 2022 and beyond. Gary Klein Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Rams’ salary-cap challenges could have big effect on free agency plans," 13 Mar. 2021 Some industry observers say the proposal could disproportionately benefit private equity firms and hedge funds that have snatched up medium and large newspaper chains. NBC News, "Facebook, Google fight bill that would help U.S. news industry," 12 Mar. 2021 Some have also called for the commission to refocus enforcement efforts on large banks and hedge funds. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Biden’s SEC Pick Faces Senate Panel Amid Calls to Address GameStop Frenzy," 2 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Many wind farm operators, which needed to purchase electricity because of hedge contracts, are in financial distress. Russell Gold, WSJ, "Texas Opts Not to Fix $16 Billion Power Overcharge," 5 Mar. 2021 The Goliaths are mostly hedge funds who are shorting those stocks — in other words, big-shot investors placing bets that those shares will crash. Allison Morrow, CNN, "Confused about this GameStop saga? Here are the 5 things you need to know," 30 Jan. 2021 There are also hedge funds and private equity funds. Nellie Bowles, New York Times, "Join Us in Miami! Love, Masters of the Universe," 29 Jan. 2021 Billionaire Dallas investor Mark Cuban expressed his pleasure with a new generation of investors getting involved in the market and drew similarities to how hedge funds and brokerages operate Thursday on CNBC’s Squawk Box. Dom Difurio, Dallas News, "Mark Cuban: WallStreetBets trend could have positive, long-lasting effects," 28 Jan. 2021 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

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


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

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

Time Traveler for hedge

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for hedge

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hedge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hedge. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hedge



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



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


\ 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.
\ 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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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