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From Middle English *biheggen, *biheien, *beheȝen, from Old English behegian (to hedge around), equivalent to be- +‎ hedge. Cognate with Dutch beheggen (to put a hedge around, behedge).


behedge (third-person singular simple present behedges, present participle behedging, simple past and past participle behedged)

  1. (transitive) To hedge about; surround with or as with a hedge.
    • 1932, Thomas Burke, City of encounters: a London divertissement:
      [...] so that, though he had neither fixed flag not fixed father to cloud his thought and behedge his landscape, he could still, he used to say, share in the gush about ancestry.
  2. (transitive) To determine the boundary or limit of; define.
    • 1905, William Cowper Brann, J.D. Shaw, Brann the iconoclast:
      Having been spawned in a royal bed — perchance the same in which his great gran'dame Catherine was wont to receive her paramours — he becomes the most powerful of princes — haloed with "that divinity which doth behedge a king" — and all [...]
  3. (transitive) To surround; beset; plague; hinder.
    • 1927, James Branch Cabell, Straws and Prayer-Books:
      Reflection finds the circumstance unfortunate that most of the agreeable actions of life are either forbidden or else deplorably behedged with restrictions.
    • 2005, William Cowper Brann, The Complete Works of Brann the Iconoclast Volume Three:
      [...] nor is it necessary to do more than call attention to a few indisputable facts to prove that the public policy he recommends would do little or nothing to ameliorate the hard conditions that behedge the toiling millions.
  4. (transitive) To straiten; restrict; constrain; limit.
    • 1968, Edward Weldon Bailey, Texas law of wills:
      The remaining heirs are therefore not to be defeated by any of the restrictions that behedge the remedies available to the third-party beneficiary of a contract; [...]