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

  1. (bookmaking) To place bets with a third party in order to offset potential losses.
  2. (idiomatic) To reduce the risk of making a mistake, by keeping one's options open.
    • 2014 June 24, “Google Glass go on sale in the UK for £1,000”, in The Guardian:
      Whether Glass will ever become a mass-market product, and smartglasses take off, is still unclear. Google is hedging its bets, however, with its new Android Wear and smartwatch initiative which is expected to be shown off at Google’s I/O developer conference in San Francisco later this week.
    • Unknown translator, Ibn Rustah,
      He prayed on Fridays with the Muslims, on Saturdays with the Jews and on Sundays with the Christians. 'Since each religion claims that it is the only true one and that the others are invalid', the king explained, 'I have decided to hedge my bets'.

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