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See also: Hedge



A maze of hedges.


From Middle English hegge, from Old English heċġ, from Proto-Germanic *hagjō, from Proto-Indo-European *kagʰyóm. Cognate with Dutch heg, German Hecke. More at haw.



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hedge (plural hedges)

  1. A thicket of bushes, usually thorn bushes; especially, such a thicket planted as a fence between any two portions of land; and also any sort of shrubbery, as evergreens, planted in a line or as a fence; particularly, such a thicket planted round a field to fence it, or in rows to separate the parts of a garden.
    He trims the hedge once a week.
    • 1879, Richard Jefferies, The Amateur Poacher, chapter1:
      But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection. ¶ [] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window [], and a 'bead' could be drawn upon Molly, the dairymaid, kissing the fogger behind the hedge, little dreaming that the deadly tube was levelled at them.
  2. (Britain, chiefly Devon and Cornwall) A mound of earth, stone- or turf-faced, often topped with bushes, used as a fence between any two portions of land.
  3. (pragmatics) A non-committal or intentionally ambiguous statement.
  4. (finance) Contract or arrangement reducing one's exposure to risk (for example the risk of price movements or interest rate movements).
    The asset class acts as a hedge.
    A hedge is an investment position intended to offset potential losses/gains that may be incurred by a companion investment. In simple language, a hedge is used to reduce any substantial losses/gains suffered by an individual or an organization.
  5. (Britain, Ireland, noun adjunct) Used attributively, with figurative indication of a person's upbringing, or professional activities, taking place by the side of the road; third-rate.

Derived termsEdit



hedge (third-person singular simple present hedges, present participle hedging, simple past and past participle hedged)

  1. (transitive) To enclose with a hedge or hedges.
    to hedge a field or garden
  2. (transitive) To obstruct with a hedge or hedges.
    • Bible, Hos. ii. 6
      I will hedge up thy way with thorns.
    • Milton
      Lollius Urbius [] drew another wall [] to hedge out incursions from the north.
  3. (transitive, finance) To offset the risk associated with.
  4. (intransitive) To avoid verbal commitment.
    He carefully hedged his statements with weasel words.
  5. (intransitive) To construct or repair a hedge.
  6. (intransitive, finance) To reduce one's exposure to risk.

Derived termsEdit