\ 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 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



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


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 Any time after late autumn is OK, while the hedge is dormant. Bob Beacham, chicagotribune.com, "The best hedge trimmer of 2020," 4 Aug. 2020 Like other hedge funds, Chatham has benefited from investing in distressed companies. Marc Tracy, BostonGlobe.com, "Hedge fund to buy McClatchy, publisher of The Miami Herald and other major newspapers," 12 July 2020 Investors diversify into hedge funds because the ability to short helps soften the blow from declining share prices. Nishant Kumar, Fortune, "Wild stock markets swings have exposed a fatal flaw in this classic hedge fund strategy," 8 July 2020 The company received cover from Germany's banking regulator, which pushed back against critical hedge funds and investigative reporters. Julia Horowitz And Charles Riley, CNN, "The pandemic could expose more Wirecards," 5 July 2020 An aspiring artist adrift in Toronto; a young woman serving up sympathy and cocktails at a five-star hotel in the wilds of British Columbia; a hedge-fund king who bellies up to the bar. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "The best books of 2020… so far," 30 June 2020 And while federal maps are used to calculate government disaster aid, more detailed information is often compiled by private financial companies, like insurers or hedge funds, and kept private. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "15 million U.S. homes are at risk of flooding — 70% higher than FEMA estimates," 29 June 2020 Mutual funds have long shied away from fights with savvy hedge funds and other investors who specialize in troubled companies. Matt Wirz, WSJ, "Lenders to Ailing Companies Circle Wagons to Fend Off Distressed-Debt Investors," 26 June 2020 The Volcker rule, named for its chief proponent, the late Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, generally prohibited banks from engaging in proprietary trading and from acquiring ownership interests in hedge funds and private equity funds. Washington Post, "Federal banking agencies ease Volcker Rule restrictions," 25 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb What should those saving for retirement and other long-term purposes do to hedge against the uncertain risk of inflation? Chris Farrell, Star Tribune, "In uncertain times, diversification can be an investor's best friend," 8 Aug. 2020 Developing a vaccine that targets other key proteins might help scientists to hedge their bets. Scientific American, "Fauci Optimistic About COVID-19 Vaccines, Though Immunity Unknowns Complicate Development," 31 July 2020 Those that do open buildings will hedge the risks by taking various measures, such as requiring masks and social distancing, holding classes outside when possible or bringing students to school on alternating schedules. James Glanz, New York Times, "The Risk That Students Could Arrive at School With the Coronavirus," 31 July 2020 The most generous allocations go to mutual and hedge funds that do their stock, bond, and commodity trading at the investment banks and pay the largest commissions. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Why famed VC Bill Gurley thinks IPOs are such a rip-off," 16 June 2020 To hedge his bets, Mary Trump writes, Donald ‘‘enlisted a smart kid with a reputation for being a good test taker, to take his SATs for him. Michael Kranish, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump’s worldview forged by neglect and trauma at home, niece says in book," 7 July 2020 The Lebanese pound traded on the black market at 7,000 to the dollar, a slide of 40 percent just in the past week as people race to convert their increasingly worthless local pounds into scarce dollars to hedge against further anticipated declines. Liz Sly, Washington Post, "Lebanon’s currency takes a new dive, and there is no end in sight," 26 June 2020 To hedge against a more immediate shortfall, BARDA is betting on a company that has developed vial-making technology that doesn’t rely on the traditional sand-to-glass supply chain. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Vaccine Makers Turn to Microchip Tech to Beat Glass Shortages," 26 June 2020 Daimler hoped Moovel would help the German automaker hedge its bets for a future when urban residents might own fewer cars. oregonlive, "Daimler unloads Portland-based Moovel after two steep layoffs," 22 June 2020 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


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

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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

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hedge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hedge. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for hedge


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



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)

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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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