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. (Milton)
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. (Locke) 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.
Origin: Hedged; Hedging.
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)
hedge, when used adjectively or in composition, often means rustic, outlandish, illiterate, poor, or mean; as, hedge priest; hedgeborn, etc.
(Science: botany) hedge bells, hedge bindweed, a European warbler (accentor modularis) which frequents hedges. Its colour 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 breast. To hang in the hedge, to be at a standstill. While the business of money hangs in the hedge.
Origin: oe. Hegge, as. Hecg; akin to haga an inclosure, E. Haw, as. Hege hedge, E. Haybote, D. Hegge, OHG. Hegga, g. Hecke. See haw a hedge.