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

And there’s certainly a lot to be had: the Hamptons is known for everything from beaches to art museums to hedges that grow higher than summertime temperatures. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Vogue’s Official Guide to the Hamptons," 3 July 2019 Where mainstream economists see constraint, goldbugs see discipline—a government that cannot spend beyond its means—and a hedge against corruption. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "The quiet campaign to reinstate the gold standard is getting louder," 3 July 2019 Other hedges include using July puts on single stocks that have significant revenue exposure to China. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Some Investors Hedge Against Renewed Trade Tension," 28 June 2019 The Scotsman reports that the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh already has a yew hedge propagated from cuttings from the Fortingall Yew. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "U.K.’s Oldest Tree Is Being Besieged by Tourists," 21 June 2019 According to the Daily Mail, the palace recently installed a 950-foot hedge to block outsiders' views of the back garden, where the royal couple often arrive and take off by helicopter. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kensington Palace Reportedly Plants 950-Foot Hedge for Kate Middleton and Prince William's Privacy," 8 Apr. 2019 But few companies earning in an emerging-market currency can afford to buy multi-year dollar hedges. The Economist, "Buy-out firms are the new banks in emerging markets," 21 June 2019 The Garden is now growing 30 to 50 new saplings from that hedge, and hopes to distribute them to 20 churchyards by 2020 as part of a 10-year Church Yew Tree project. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "U.K.’s Oldest Tree Is Being Besieged by Tourists," 21 June 2019 Imagine’ Police later recovered a few items from the other side of the hedge wall on Newton’s property the robbers slipped through — including a watch, a white shoe, coins, and a bottle of Stefano Ricci cologne, the Associated Press reported. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Wayne Newton Says He Fired a Pistol Shot as Burglars Fled His Home," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Is there a center that can hedge against when Nurkic is gonna come back? Tim Brown, oregonlive.com, "Kevin Love to Trail Blazers? ESPN analysts say Portland ‘one move away from being really, really good’," 27 June 2019 Many companies, including Apple Inc. supplier Foxconn Technology Group and electronics giant Sharp Corp. are weighing plans to migrate manufacturing capacity out of China to hedge against the cost of the U.S.-China trade fight. Chuin-wei Yap, WSJ, "American Tariffs on China Are Being Blunted by Trade Cheats," 26 June 2019 Not least, Iraq diverted resources — including the most precious resource of a senior leader: focus — from the Bush administration’s effort to hedge against the rise of an assertive, autocratic China. Hal Brands, National Review, "Lessons from the Iraq War," 20 June 2019 Image Some California businesses that serve food and drinks, unwilling to wage a legal fight against Proposition 65 or possibly hedging against fines, have already posted warnings about acrylamide over the years. New York Times, "California, Coffee and Cancer: One of These Doesn’t Belong," 23 Apr. 2018 Asked if Obama was behind that effort, Trump hedged. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump talks health care, Abe Lincoln and Richard Nixon in television interview," 16 June 2019 But emotion is why Berry is still in the game, as in he hasn’t hedged in his potential $100,000 win despite chances to get out without putting any money down from PropSwap. Andy Nesbitt, For The Win, "St. Louis Blues fan turns $400 bet into $100K with Stanley Cup win, celebrates accordingly," 12 June 2019 Merton’s commitment to Margie had always been hedged about with his prestige as a monk. Garry Wills, Harper's magazine, "Shallow Calls to Shallow," 10 Apr. 2019 Independent exploration and production companies also hedged much of their oil production to protect themselves from the downside risk of falling oil prices. Rebecca Elliott, WSJ, "Oil Giants Start to Dominate U.S. Shale Boom," 15 Nov. 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

10 Jul 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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