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1. A row of closely planted shrubs or low-growing trees forming a fence or boundary.
2. A line of people or objects forming a barrier: a hedge of spectators along the sidewalk.
a. A means of protection or defense, especially against financial loss: a hedge against inflation.
b. A securities transaction that reduces the risk on an existing investment position.
4. An intentionally noncommittal or ambiguous statement.
5. A word or phrase, such as possibly or I think, that mitigates or weakens the certainty of a statement.
v. hedged, hedg·ing, hedg·es
1. To enclose or bound with or as if with hedges.
2. To hem in, hinder, or restrict with or as if with a hedge.
3. To minimize or protect against the loss of by counterbalancing one transaction, such as a bet, against another.
1. To plant or cultivate hedges.
2. To take compensatory measures so as to counterbalance possible loss.
3. To avoid making a clear, direct response or statement.
[Middle English, from Old English hecg.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.