|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|
|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 |
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.