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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
hedge fund
look as if you've been dragged through a hedge backwards
▪ Even congressional leaders who pushed hardest for it were sufficiently nervous to build in some hedges against runaway presidential abuse.
▪ From the other side of the hedge came the wild barking of hounds.
▪ I was found asleep under a hedge, a partly sampled bottle still clutched protectively in my hands.
▪ I watched from under the hedge when one day two big black cars came.
▪ I watched him as far as the corner of the curator's garden, and saw him turn in alongside the hedge.
▪ Much of the old field pattern therefore remains, with its tangle of deep lanes and thick hedges.
▪ Now, crouching against the rough hedge, he considered the possibilities.
▪ The hedges bordering the roads are valuable from a conservation standpoint.
▪ Not surprisingly, Whitehall has been hedging its bets with officials preparing briefs to cover a variety of eventualities.
▪ However, that has not stopped the cable companies from hedging their bets by getting into the satellite business, too.
▪ Dealers on the foreign exchange markets were also hedging their bets and the pound was also on ice.
▪ Now, what will we have to hedge our bets on?
▪ I made a decision, or rather I hedged my bets.
▪ Still, it always is wise to hedge our bets about the future.
▪ Maybe, I tell myself, I was really hedging my bets.
▪ Pat Hayes, a 10-year plant veteran at the age of 30, has already begun to hedge her bets.
▪ Firms that provide these swaps often buy or sell U. S. Treasuries to hedge the risk of sudden swings in interest rates.
▪ It allows you to diversify real-estate holdings, hedging your risk should prices in one market drop.
▪ Dunes of wood chips and mountains of logs rose even with the hillsides that hedged in the valley.
▪ Historically, this was driven by a complex web of lineage lines in which one set of loyalties was hedged against another.
▪ However, that has not stopped the cable companies from hedging their bets by getting into the satellite business, too.
▪ In each case, the reforms were hedged in with clauses designed to preserve leeway for the authorities.
▪ This is a subservient way of talking in which everything is hedged about and nothing asserted outright.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Hedge \Hedge\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Hedged; p. pr. & vb. n. Hedging.]

  1. To inclose or separate with a hedge; to fence with a thickly set line or thicket of shrubs or small trees; as, to hedge a field or garden.

  2. To obstruct, as a road, with a barrier; to hinder from progress or success; -- sometimes with up and out.

    I will hedge up thy way with thorns.
    --Hos. ii. 6.

    Lollius Urbius . . . drew another wall . . . to hedge out incursions from the north.

  3. To surround for defense; to guard; to protect; to hem (in). ``England, hedged in with the main.''

  4. To surround so as to prevent escape.

    That is a law to hedge in the cuckoo.

  5. To protect oneself against excessive loss in an activity by taking a countervailing action; as, to hedge an investment denominated in a foreign currency by buying or selling futures in that currency; to hedge a donation to one political party by also donating to the opposed political party.

    To hedge a bet, to bet upon both sides; that is, after having bet on one side, to bet also on the other, thus guarding against loss. See hedge[5].


Hedge \Hedge\, n. [OE. hegge, AS. hecg; akin to haga an inclosure, E. haw, AS. hege hedge, E. haybote, D. hegge, OHG. hegga, G. hecke. [root]12. See Haw a hedge.] 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. The roughest berry on the rudest hedge. --Shak. Through the verdant maze Of sweetbrier hedges I pursue my walk. --Thomson. Note: Hedge, when used adjectively or in composition, often means rustic, outlandish, illiterate, poor, or mean; as, hedge priest; hedgeborn, etc. Hedge bells, Hedge bindweed (Bot.), a climbing plant related to the morning-glory ( Convolvulus sepium). Hedge bill, a long-handled billhook. Hedge garlic (Bot.), a plant of the genus Alliaria. See Garlic mustard, under Garlic. Hedge hyssop (Bot.), a bitter herb of the genus Gratiola, the leaves of which are emetic and purgative. Hedge marriage, a secret or clandestine marriage, especially one performed by a hedge priest. [Eng.] Hedge mustard (Bot.), a plant of the genus Sisymbrium, belonging to the Mustard family. Hedge nettle (Bot.), an herb, or under shrub, of the genus Stachys, belonging to the Mint family. It has a nettlelike appearance, though quite harmless. Hedge note.

  1. The note of a hedge bird.

  2. Low, contemptible writing. [Obs.]

    Hedge priest, a poor, illiterate priest.

    Hedge school, an open-air school in the shelter of a hedge, in Ireland; a school for rustics.

    Hedge sparrow (Zo["o]l.), a European warbler ( Accentor modularis) which frequents hedges. Its color is reddish brown, and ash; the wing coverts are tipped with white. Called also chanter, hedge warbler, dunnock, and doney.

    Hedge writer, an insignificant writer, or a writer of low, scurrilous stuff. [Obs.]

    To breast up a hedge. See under Breast.

    To hang in the hedge, to be at a standstill. ``While the business of money hangs in the hedge.''


Hedge \Hedge\, v. i.

  1. To shelter one's self from danger, risk, duty, responsibility, etc., as if by hiding in or behind a hedge; to skulk; to slink; to shirk obligations.

    I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of God on the left hand and hiding mine honor in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge and to lurch.

  2. (Betting) To reduce the risk of a wager by making a bet against the side or chance one has bet on.

  3. To use reservations and qualifications in one's speech so as to avoid committing one's self to anything definite.

    The Heroic Stanzas read much more like an elaborate attempt to hedge between the parties than . . . to gain favor from the Roundheads.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "make a hedge," also "surround with a barricade or palisade;" from hedge (n.). The sense of "dodge, evade" is first recorded 1590s. That of "insure oneself against loss," as in a bet, by playing something on the other side is from 1670s, originally with in; probably from an earlier use of hedge in meaning "secure (a debt) by including it in a larger one which has better security" (1610s). Related: Hedged; hedging. The noun in the wagering sense is from 1736.


Old English hecg, originally any fence, living or artificial, from West Germanic *khagja (cognates: Middle Dutch hegge, Dutch heg, Old High German hegga, German Hecke "hedge"), from PIE *kagh- "to catch, seize; wickerwork, fence" (cognates: Latin caulae "a sheepfold, enclosure," Gaulish caio "circumvallation," Welsh cae "fence, hedge"). Related to Old English haga "enclosure, hedge" (see haw). Figurative sense of "boundary, barrier" is from mid-14c. Prefixed to any word, it "notes something mean, vile, of the lowest class" [Johnson], from contemptuous attributive sense of "plying one's trade under a hedge" (hedge-priest, hedge-lawyer, hedge-wench, etc.), a usage attested from 1530s.


n. 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. 2 (lb en UK mainly 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 A non-committal or intentionally ambiguous statement. 4 (lb en finance) Contract or arrangement reducing one's exposure to risk (for example the risk of price movements or interest rate movements). 5 (lb en UK 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. vb. 1 (context transitive English) To enclose with a hedge or hedges. 2 (context transitive English) To obstruct with a hedge or hedges. 3 (context transitive finance English) To offset the risk associated with. 4 (context intransitive English) To avoid verbal commitment. 5 (context intransitive English) To construct or repair a hedge. 6 (context intransitive finance English) To reduce one's exposure to risk.

  1. n. a fence formed by a row of closely planted shrubs or bushes [syn: hedgerow]

  2. any technique designed to reduce or eliminate financial risk; for example, taking two positions that will offset each other if prices change [syn: hedging]

  3. an intentionally noncommittal or ambiguous statement; "when you say `maybe' you are just hedging" [syn: hedging]

  1. v. avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues); "He dodged the issue"; "she skirted the problem"; "They tend to evade their responsibilities"; "he evaded the questions skillfully" [syn: fudge, evade, put off, circumvent, parry, elude, skirt, dodge, duck, sidestep]

  2. hinder or restrict with or as if with a hedge; "The animals were hedged in"

  3. enclose or bound in with or as it with a hedge or hedges; "hedge the property" [syn: hedge in]

  4. minimize loss or risk; "diversify your financial portfolio to hedge price risks"; "hedge your bets"


A hedge or hedgerow is a line of closely spaced shrubs and tree species, planted and trained to form a barrier or to mark the boundary of an area. Hedges used to separate a road from adjoining fields or one field from another, and of sufficient age to incorporate larger trees, are known as hedgerows. It is also a simple form of topiary.

Hedge (disambiguation)

A hedge or hedgerow is a line of closely spaced shrubs planted to act as a barrier or boundary. Hedge may also refer to:

  • Hedge (finance), investment made to limit loss
  • Hedge (linguistics), intentionally non-committal or ambiguous sentence fragments
  • Hedge fund
  • Hedgerow removal
  • Hedges, a surname
  • Maclura pomifera or Osage orange tree, often called a hedge in the United States
Hedge (finance)

A hedge is an investment position intended to offset potential losses or gains that may be incurred by a companion investment. In simple language, a hedge is used to reduce any substantial losses or gains suffered by an individual or an organization.

A hedge can be constructed from many types of financial instruments, including stocks, exchange-traded funds, insurance, forward contracts, swaps, options, many types of over-the-counter and derivative products, and futures contracts.

Public futures markets were established in the 19th century to allow transparent, standardized, and efficient hedging of agricultural commodity prices; they have since expanded to include futures contracts for hedging the values of energy, precious metals, foreign currency, and interest rate fluctuations.

Hedge (linguistics)

A hedge is a mitigating word or sound used to lessen the impact of an utterance. Typically, they are adjectives or adverbs, but can also consist of clauses. It could be regarded as a form of euphemism.


  1. There might just be a few insignificant problems we need to address. (adjective)
  2. The party was somewhat spoiled by the return of the parents. (adverb)
  3. I'm not an expert but you might want to try restarting your computer. (clause)

Hedges may intentionally or unintentionally be employed in both spoken and written language since they are crucially important in communication. Hedges help speakers and writers indicate more precisely how the cooperative principle (expectations of quantity, quality, manner, and relevance) is observed in assessments. For example,

  1. All I know is smoking is harmful to your health. In (1), it can be observed that information conveyed by the speaker is limited by adding all I know. By so saying, the speaker wants to inform that she is not only making an assertion but observing the maxim of quantity as well.
  2. They told me that they are married. If the speaker only says that “they are married” and they do not know for sure if they are married, they may violate the maxim of quality since they say something that they do not know to be true or false. Nevertheless, by adding they told me that, the speaker wants to confirm that they are observing the conversational maxim of quality.
  3. I am not sure if all of these are clear to you, but this is what I know. The above example (3) shows that hedges are good indications the speakers are not only conscious of the maxim of manner, but they are also trying to observe them.
  4. By the way, you like this car? By using by the way, what has been said by the speakers is not relevant to the moment in which the conversation takes place. Such a hedge can be found in the middle of speakers’ conversation as the speaker wants to switch to another topic that is different from the previous one. Therefore, by the way functions as a hedge indicating that the speaker wants to drift into another topic or to stop the previous topic.

Usage examples of "hedge".

Kicking Acorn to a gallop, she jumped a hedge and raced toward the mill.

Beyond the agora, Achamian saw a cohort of birds wheeling above the great domes of the Temple Xothei, whose silhouette loomed above the tenements hedging the north end of the market.

So inventing by the light of inner consciousness alone, he worked up tiny doses of the grey ambergris into mutton fat, coloured it faintly pink with cochineal insects he caught on the prickly pear hedges, added a little crude borax as a preservative, and so produced a cosmetic that was no better and little worse than the thousand other nostrums of its kind in daily use elsewhere.

Halfway through the third Act, Belinda pretended to woo Lackwit, and to allow him to woo her, her true lover, Giovanni Amoroso, being concealed behind a hedge to enjoy the fun.

Thick hedges of green briars, interspersed with acacia and wild apricot trees, lined the four canals that still divided the city into quarters.

Owner Ramsey Osborn yesterday hedged his Arc bets by selling a half-share in his four-year-old colt to arbitrageur Malcolm Pembroke, who launched into bloodstock only this week with a two million guineas yearling at the Premium Sales.

Quietly, Asey circled around the barn, glided along the shadow of a thick lilac hedge toward the rear of the house, and finally came to a stop just a few feet away from the back door.

These and sundry other sins having duly been confessed, the badger bade the fox chastise himself with a switch plucked from the hedge, lay it down in the road, jump over it thrice, and then meekly kiss that rod in token of obedience.

Besides, when I went out early in the morning, I found the bandbox beyond the thick hedge.

He ate blackberries along the hedges, minded the geese with a long switch, went haymaking during harvest, ran about in the woods, played hop-scotch under the church porch on rainy days, and at great fetes begged the beadle to let him toll the bells, that he might hang all his weight on the long rope and feel himself borne upward by it in its swing.

He lived in a low-rent, one-bedroom house not far from the church, a little white box settled in one corner, with beveled siding, small hedged yard and mossy roof.

She watched, wide-eyed, as Bluey emerged from behind the hedge, followed by Cat, and began to walk quickly, softly toward them.

Up until now he had had the help of, first, Bluey, then Meg, then Hedger, Gomez, and Bergman, but now he was on his own.

German song, tossed his head in amusement and in the superiority of moving secretively past, crossed Grand Bouet in a long-striding spring, and ducked down in the shelter of a hedge.

Tanis looked out beyond the fragrant boxwood hedges to the street outside.