hedge in


a row of bushes or small trees planted close together, especially when forming a fence or boundary; hedgerow: small fields separated by hedges.
any barrier or boundary: a hedge of stones.
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.
to enclose with or separate by a hedge: to hedge a garden.
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.
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.
to mitigate a possible loss by counterbalancing (one's bets, investments, etc.).
to prevent or hinder free movement; obstruct: to be hedged by poverty.
verb (used without object), hedged, hedging.
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.
to prevent complete loss of a bet by betting an additional amount or amounts against the original bet.
Finance. to enter transactions that will protect against loss through a compensatory price movement.

before 900; Middle English, Old English hegge; cognate with Dutch heg, German Hecke hedge, Old Norse heggr bird cherry

hedgeless, adjective
unhedge, verb (used with object), unhedged, unhedging.
unhedged, adjective
well-hedged, adjective

9. evade, stall, delay, temporize, waffle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hedge (hɛdʒ)
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
6.  (tr) to enclose or separate with or as if with a hedge
7.  (intr) to make or maintain a hedge, as by cutting and laying
8.  (tr; often foll by in, about, or around) to hinder, obstruct, or restrict
9.  (intr) to evade decision or action, esp by making noncommittal statements
10.  (tr) 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.  (intr) to protect against financial loss through future price fluctuations, as by investing in futures
[Old English hecg; related to Old High German heckia, Middle Dutch hegge; see haw1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. hecg, originally any fence, living or artificial, from W.Gmc. *khagja (cf. M.Du. hegge, O.H.G. hegga, Ger. Hecke "hedge"), from PIE. *khagh- "to encompass, enclose" (cf. L. caulae "a sheepfold, enclosure," Gaul. caio "circumvallation," Welsh cae "fence, hedge"). Related to O.E. haga "enclosure,
hedge" (see haw). 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 c.1530. The verb sense of "dodge, evade" is first recorded 1598; that of "insure oneself against loss," as in a bet, is from 1672. Hedgehog is c.1450 (replacing O.E. igl), the second element an allusion to its pig-like snout. Hedgerow is O.E. heggeræw.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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