Definition of Hedge

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.
The roughest berry on the rudest hedge.
- Shak.
Hedge bells
(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.
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
a - The note of a hedge bird.
b - Low, contemptible writing.
Hedge priest
a poor, illiterate priest.
- Dryden.
Hedge school
an open-air school in the shelter of a hedge, in Ireland; a school for rustics.
- Shak.
Hedge sparrow
(Zool.) 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.
To breast up a hedge
See under Breast.
- Swift.
To hang in the hedge
to be at a standstill.
- Pepys.
v. t.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.
[imp. & p. p. Hedged ; p. pr. & vb. n. Hedging.]
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.
- Milton.
3.To surround for defense; to guard; to protect; to hem (in).
4.To surround so as to prevent escape.
That is a law to hedge in the cuckoo.
- Locke.
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}.
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.
- Shak.
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.
- Saintsbury.

Related Words

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Hectic fever
Hedge bells
Hedge bill
Hedge fund
Hedge garlic
Hedge hyssop
Hedge marriage
Hedge mustard
Hedge nettle
Hedge note
Hedge parsley
Hedge priest
Hedge school
Hedge sparrow
Hedge writer
Hedgehog caterpillar
Hedgehog fish
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