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 1 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 Legendary hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones has also been touting bitcoin lately as a potential hedge against inflation that could be created by central bank stimulus — much like gold. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Bitcoin 'halving' could boost its price as more investors flock to cryptocurrencies," 12 May 2020 Now, this flexibility has worked as a supply hedge for the current crisis. Fabiana Batista, Bloomberg.com, "Meat Giants From Brazil Are Ready to Cover American Shortfalls," 5 May 2020 But in this situation, the forward gave a hard hedge and eliminated that look. Stefan Krajisnik, Indianapolis Star, "IU women's basketball: Grace Berger tweaks her game to a new level," 30 Apr. 2020 In the seaside town of Llandudno, Wales, a small herd of wild Kashmiri goats that normally roam nearby rocky hillsides has taken advantage of the moment, and ventured into the town to feed on hedges and rest in grassy areas. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "Wild Goats Roam Through an Empty Welsh Town," 31 Mar. 2020 Xs and Os: The Nuggets insisted on sending Jokic to either double the ball handler off the screen or hard hedge and recover. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Pacers contain Nikola Jokic but others spark Nuggets' comeback to open 2020," 3 Jan. 2020 In addition to security outside the venue, black curtains were taped to windows, and fake hedges and privacy screens were put up to discourage anyone from peering in. BostonGlobe.com, "Here’s a look at what has been reported about Lawrence’s nuptials.," 20 Oct. 2019 There is a seemingly working bathroom, front and rear exterior doors and even a patio with a hedge and grill out back. chicagotribune.com, "12 recommended Chicago shows to see right now," 11 Oct. 2019 The original walled garden has since been lovingly restored and replanted by landscape architect Robert Myers, who made it into a series of outdoor rooms, defined by box hedges and verdant planting. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "At Home With Chrissie Rucker, Founder of the White Company," 24 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Parsley had more than 27 million barrels hedged using three-ways at the end of 2019, four times more than the prior year. Michael Roschnotti, Bloomberg.com, "Oil-Hedge Strategy That Failed Shale in 2014 Burns It Again," 7 May 2020 This hedging tool kit allows some companies such as Hess Corp. and Cairn Energy PLC and countries including Mexico to continue selling their crude at considerably higher prices when benchmark U.S. and global oil prices plummet. ... Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "Some Oil Producers Have Secret Weapon in Hedging," 24 Apr. 2020 Point spreads are meant to balance the bets, so casinos hedge on any potential losses. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "Betting on 49ers to win Super Bowl? Here’s what you should know," 19 Jan. 2020 Sagal, an expert at playing earthy sexpots, is a welcome addition to the cast and story, as the barmaid/musician learns how to date a hedging new widower. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: Against the Odds, 'The Conners' Became Comfort TV," 16 Dec. 2019 As France prepares to open up starting on May 11, some regions, feeling bitten, are hedging their bets. New York Times, "Pandemic Shakes France’s Faith in a Cornerstone: Strong Central Government," 29 Apr. 2020 Vegas clubs are also hedging their bets by putting hip-hop and open-format DJs in rotation with electronic dance music . Steve Knopper, Billboard, "DJ Paydays In Las Vegas: More Money, Less Opportunity," 28 Jan. 2020 Quarterly Monitor: Though few see dangers looming in 2020, many investors are hedging their bets. WSJ, "Investing in Funds and ETFS: January 2020," 5 Jan. 2020 Wineries like Spottswoode and Larkmead are hedging their bets by planting experimental vineyards with warm-climate grape varieties from Spain, Portugal and Italy like Touriga Nacional and Tempranillo. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Georgian wine on my mind," 22 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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Time Traveler for hedge

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hedge

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hedge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hedge. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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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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