follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

hedge

[hej] /hɛdʒ/
noun
1.
a row of bushes or small trees planted close together, especially when forming a fence or boundary; hedgerow:
small fields separated by hedges.
2.
any barrier or boundary:
a hedge of stones.
3.
an act or means of preventing complete loss of a bet, an argument, an investment, or the like, with a partially counterbalancing or qualifying one.
verb (used with object), hedged, hedging.
4.
to enclose with or separate by a hedge:
to hedge a garden.
5.
to surround and confine as if with a hedge; restrict (often followed by in, about, etc.):
He felt hedged in by the rules of language.
6.
to protect with qualifications that allow for unstated contingencies or for withdrawal from commitment:
He hedged his program against attack and then presented it to the board.
7.
to mitigate a possible loss by counterbalancing (one's bets, investments, etc.).
8.
to prevent or hinder free movement; obstruct:
to be hedged by poverty.
verb (used without object), hedged, hedging.
9.
to avoid a rigid commitment by qualifying or modifying a position so as to permit withdrawal:
He felt that he was speaking too boldly and began to hedge before they could contradict him.
10.
to prevent complete loss of a bet by betting an additional amount or amounts against the original bet.
11.
Finance. to enter transactions that will protect against loss through a compensatory price movement.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English, Old English hegge; cognate with Dutch heg, German Hecke hedge, Old Norse heggr bird cherry
Related forms
hedgeless, adjective
unhedge, verb (used with object), unhedged, unhedging.
unhedged, adjective
well-hedged, adjective
Synonyms
9. evade, stall, delay, temporize, waffle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for hedging
  • He has sat quietly by until now when when he sits to make a tidy sum from hedging.
  • And it's frankly sort of odd to suggest that hedging does more harm than good.
  • So everybody's hedging their bets--including the telephone company.
  • Astronomers, who had been predicting the best comet in more than a decade, began hedging their bets.
  • Others were still hedging their bets, arguing there was room for doubt.
  • Prudent gamblers and investors all know about hedging.
  • Surely a word artisan such as yourself sees the careful hedging in the comments from a friend.
  • Market price influenced by inclusion of underwriting fees and projected profit from hedging activity.
  • Many non-financial firms hold derivative positions far in excess of their hedging needs.
  • hedging sounds prudent, but some economists reckon that firms should not do it because it reduces their value to shareholders.
British Dictionary definitions for hedging

hedge

/hɛdʒ/
noun
1.
a row of shrubs, bushes, or trees forming a boundary to a field, garden, etc
2.
a barrier or protection against something
3.
the act or a method of reducing the risk of financial loss on an investment, bet, etc
4.
a cautious or evasive statement
5.
(modifier; often in combination) low, inferior, or illiterate: a hedge lawyer
verb
6.
(transitive) to enclose or separate with or as if with a hedge
7.
(intransitive) to make or maintain a hedge, as by cutting and laying
8.
(transitive; often foll by in, about, or around) to hinder, obstruct, or restrict
9.
(intransitive) to evade decision or action, esp by making noncommittal statements
10.
(transitive) to guard against the risk of loss in (a bet, the paying out of a win, etc), esp by laying bets with other bookmakers
11.
(intransitive) to protect against financial loss through future price fluctuations, as by investing in futures
Derived Forms
hedger, noun
hedging, noun
hedgy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English hecg; related to Old High German heckia, Middle Dutch hegge; see haw1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hedging

hedge

n.

Old English hecg, originally any fence, living or artificial, from West Germanic *khagja (cf. Middle Dutch hegge, Dutch heg, Old High German hegga, German Hecke "hedge"), from PIE *kagh- "to catch, seize; wickerwork, fence" (cf. Latin caulae "a sheepfold, enclosure," Gaulish caio "circumvallation," Welsh cae "fence, hedge"). Related to Old English haga "enclosure, hedge" (see haw). Figurative sense of "boundary, barrier" is from mid-14c. Prefixed to any word, it "notes something mean, vile, of the lowest class" [Johnson], from contemptuous attributive sense of "plying one's trade under a hedge" (hedge-priest, hedge-lawyer, hedge-wench, etc.), a usage attested from 1530s.

v.

late 14c., "make a hedge," also "surround with a barricade or palisade;" from hedge (n.). The sense of "dodge, evade" is first recorded 1590s. That of "insure oneself against loss," as in a bet, by playing something on the other side is from 1670s, originally with in; probably from an earlier use of hedge in meaning "secure (a debt) by including it in a larger one which has better security" (1610s). Related: Hedged; hedging. The noun in the wagering sense is from 1736.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
hedging in Culture

hedging definition


The practice by which a business or investor limits risk by taking positions that tend to offset each other. For example, a business stands to lose money if the price of a commodity it holds declines, but it can offset this risk by agreeing to sell a specified amount of the commodity at a set price at some point in the future.

Note: Hedge funds, which are investment funds usually open only to the very wealthy, grew in the 1990s. The near failure of one such fund in 1998, Long-Term Capital Management, sent shock waves through Wall Street.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for hedging

hedge

noun

Something that offsets expected losses: People were buying gold as a hedge against inflation

verb

(also hedge off) To transfer part of one's bets to another bookmaker as a means of reducing possible losses if too many of one's clients were to win: Big banks use derivatives to hedge their bets on which way the markets are going (1672+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for hedge

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hedging

13
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for hedging