From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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.
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         The roughest berry on the rudest hedge.  --Shak.
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         Through the verdant maze
         Of sweetbrier hedges I pursue my walk.   --Thomson.
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   Note: Hedge, when used adjectively or in composition, often
         means rustic, outlandish, illiterate, poor, or mean;
         as, hedge priest; hedgeborn, etc.
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   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.
   (a) The note of a hedge bird.
   (b) Low, contemptible writing. [Obs.] --Dryden.

   Hedge priest, a poor, illiterate priest. --Shak.

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

   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

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

   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." --Pepys.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Hedge \Hedge\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Hedged; p. pr. & vb. n.
   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.
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   2. To obstruct, as a road, with a barrier; to hinder from
      progress or success; -- sometimes with up and out.
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            I will hedge up thy way with thorns.  --Hos. ii. 6.
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            Lollius Urbius . . . drew another wall . . . to
            hedge out incursions from the north.  --Milton.
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   3. To surround for defense; to guard; to protect; to hem
      (in). "England, hedged in with the main." --Shak.
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   4. To surround so as to prevent escape.
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            That is a law to hedge in the cuckoo. --Locke.
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   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].
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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.
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            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.
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   2. (Betting) To reduce the risk of a wager by making a bet
      against the side or chance one has bet on.
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   3. To use reservations and qualifications in one's speech so
      as to avoid committing one's self to anything definite.
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            The Heroic Stanzas read much more like an elaborate
            attempt to hedge between the parties than . . . to
            gain favor from the Roundheads.       --Saintsbury.
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