Meaning of hedge

hedge

Pronunciation: (hej), [key]
— n., v., hedged, hedg•ing.
—n.
  1. a row of bushes or small trees planted close together, esp. when forming a fence or boundary; hedgerow: small fields separated by hedges.
  2. any barrier or boundary: a hedge of stones.
  3. an act or means of preventing complete loss of a bet, an argument, an investment, or the like, with a partially counterbalancing or qualifying one.
—v.t.
  1. to enclose with or separate by a hedge: to hedge a garden.
  2. to surround and confine as if with a hedge; restrict (often fol. by in, about, etc.): He felt hedged in by the rules of language.
  3. to protect with qualifications that allow for unstated contingencies or for withdrawal from commitment: He hedged his program against attack and then presented it to the board.
  4. to mitigate a possible loss by counterbalancing (one's bets, investments, etc.).
  5. to prevent or hinder free movement; obstruct: to be hedged by poverty.
—v.i.
  1. to avoid a rigid commitment by qualifying or modifying a position so as to permit withdrawal: He felt that he was speaking too boldly and began to hedge before they could contradict him.
  2. to prevent complete loss of a bet by betting an additional amount or amounts against the original bet.
  3. to enter transactions that will protect against loss through a compensatory price movement.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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