Definition of hedge in English:

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Pronunciation: /hɛdʒ/


1A fence or boundary formed by closely growing bushes or shrubs: a privet hedge
More example sentences
  • High walls, fences, thorny hedges and bushes can all put off burglars but make sure the front of your home is visible to passers-by
  • Tall shrubs, hedges, or vine-covered fences make a detached patio private.
  • As the hedge grows, prune the sides so the bottom is slightly wider than the top to prevent the upper limbs from shading the lower ones.
hedgerow, row of bushes, fence;
windbreak, barrier, barricade, boundary;
British  quickset
2A way of protecting oneself against financial loss or other adverse circumstances: index-linked gilts are a useful hedge against inflation
More example sentences
  • So, as beautiful as the yellow metal might be, gold is neither a hedge against inflation nor a protection against uncertainty.
  • The savings ratio is also influenced by inflation (rising prices), because people feel a greater need to save as a hedge against higher inflation.
  • Experts nevertheless recommend that sophisticated investors have some gold in their portfolio not only as a hedge against inflation, but also as a way to control risk.
safeguard, protection, shield, screen, guard, buffer, cushion;
cover, insurance, security, provision, insurance cover
3A word or phrase used to avoid overprecise commitment, for example etc., often, or sometimes.
Example sentences
  • People believe that directness is rude and use a variety of euphemisms and hedges to avoid it.
  • The presence of a hedge provides information regarding whether a student answer is right or wrong.
equivocation, evasion, fudge, quibble, qualification, qualifying expression;
temporizing, uncertainty, prevarication, vagueness


[with object]
1Surround with a hedge: a garden hedged with yew
More example sentences
  • At the junction of these roads was a fairly large field hedged all round.
  • But the further south I got in England, the more the land was fenced in and hedged off.
  • The floor area is shortly to be fenced to a height of three feet, then hedged and landscaped and when completed will be only facility of its kind in football and hopefully used for the promotion of the game in local schools.
surround, enclose, encircle, circle, ring, border, edge, bound
literary gird, girdle, engird
1.1 (hedge something in) Enclose something: the cathedral is closely hedged in by other buildings
More example sentences
  • And anyway, it will be hedged in with get-out clauses about affordability.
  • When I approached the town I discovered that gardens and orchards hedged it in.
  • Are you hedged in for privacy or open for all the world to see?
2Limit or qualify (something) by conditions or exceptions: they hedged their story about with provisos
More example sentences
  • Even scientists optimistic about the future have hedged their predictions with warnings.
  • But they hedge their predictions that there will be a global economic upturn some time later next year.
  • Barely a week later, it is reported that the Government has ‘buckled to pressure from the green movement’, and hedged its commitment to these technologies once more.
confine, restrict, limit, hinder, obstruct, impede, constrain, trap;
hem in, shut in, close, keep within bounds
2.1 [no object] Avoid making a definite statement or commitment: he hedged at every new question
More example sentences
  • Note that we're not hedging that statement - it will happen.
  • ‘I've been busy,’ I hedged, trying to avoid eye contact.
  • Under a storm of protest, Sontag at first hedged and then eventually dodged the issue.
3Protect oneself against loss on (a bet or investment) by making balancing or compensating transactions: the company hedged its investment position on the futures market [no object]: the depth of the Treasury futures market makes it a popular place to hedge against adverse market swings
More example sentences
  • But how can investors hedge against rising commodity prices?
  • I prefer to own these bonds in equal parts to hedge against a loss in the value of the U.S. dollar.
  • Taking into account the worst scenario of a further rise in property prices, is there any kind of investment that I can hedge against this with my cash after the sale?
safeguard, protect, shield, guard, cushion, cover, insure, take out insurance, take out insurance cover


hedge one's bets

Avoid committing oneself when faced with a difficult choice: they hedged their bets by saying they might apply
More example sentences
  • And they hedge their bets by avoiding specific predictions for how long it will take to colonize this or that planet, or to travel to this or that star.
  • How then can one avoid this risk and hedge one's bets?
  • But to hedge your bets, you bet the other way as well.
prevaricate, equivocate, vacillate, quibble, hesitate, stall, evade the issue, dodge the issue, fudge the issue, sidestep the issue, be non-committal, be evasive, be indecisive, be vague, hedge one's bets, beat about the bush, parry questions, pussyfoot around, mince one's words, shilly-shally;
British  hum and haw
informal sit on the fence, duck the question
British informal waffle, flannel
rare tergiversate



Pronunciation: /ˈhɛdʒə/
Example sentences
  • By selling such instruments and transferring the risk into their own books, banks are risk hedgers and traders - with a view to making a profit.
  • His parents were hedgers and ditchers and brought up their son to the same occupation.
  • Tending to be high risk, high return investment tools that remain largely unexploited in investment strategies, warrants are also an attractive option for speculators and hedgers.


Old English hegg, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch heg and German Hecke.

  • Hedges mark boundaries, but are also a means of protection or defence. The idea of protecting yourself is strong in to hedge your bets. In strict betting terms this means putting money on more than one horse in a race, but you can also hedge other financial liabilities, including speculative investments. Originally people would hedge in a bet. This is related to an earlier application of hedge in, in which debts were incorporated into a larger debt for which better security was available. Much more recently, in the 1960s, hedge fund became the term for an offshore investment fund that engages in speculation using credit or borrowed capital.

Words that rhyme with hedge

allege, dredge, edge, fledge, kedge, ledge, pledge, reg, sedge, sledge, veg, wedge

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hedge

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