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Edge vs. Hedge: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 25, 2023
Edge refers to the sharp border or brink of something, while hedge is a fence formed by a row of shrubs or low trees.

Key Differences

An edge is typically the sharp side of a surface or an object where two surfaces meet, creating a line or a boundary. It often denotes a literal or metaphorical boundary. A hedge, conversely, is a line of closely planted shrubs or bushy trees forming a fence or boundary, primarily used for privacy or to mark the limit of an area.
In geometry, the edge refers to the line segment where two faces of a three-dimensional figure meet; it signifies precision and linearity. In contrast, a hedge in landscaping serves a functional purpose to protect against wind, erosion, or to demarcate boundaries, embodying growth and natural division.
Metaphorically, 'edge' can imply a competitive advantage or a quality that gives superiority, as in “having an edge over competitors.” On the other hand, 'hedge' can be used to signify avoidance of a direct answer or commitment, such as in "hedging one's bets," suggesting caution or diffuseness.
The edge is also a term used to describe a state of irritation or nervousness, like being "on edge." Whereas 'hedge' as a verb can mean to limit or qualify something with conditions to avoid risk or loss, showing a strategic or protective stance in language.
Edges are inherent to objects and often relate to sharpness or the extremity of something, like "the edge of a cliff." Hedges are planted and cultivated, symbolizing preparation and intentionality, such as "planting a hedge for privacy."

Comparison Chart


Boundary or brink
Fence of shrubs/trees


Sharpness, precision
Protection, boundary

Usage in Speech

Literal and metaphorical
Literal and metaphorical

Metaphorical Meaning

Advantage or tension
Caution or avoidance

Relation to Objects

Inherent to the object
Cultivated or created separately

Edge and Hedge Definitions


The border or brink of something.
She stood at the edge of the canyon, awestruck by its depth.


A barrier of bushes or shrubs.
They planted a hedge around the perimeter of their house.


A slight advantage.
His extensive experience gave him an edge in the job market.


An investment to reduce the risk of adverse price movements.
She hedged her stock portfolio against market volatility.


A line segment where two faces meet.
The cube has twelve edges.


To avoid making a direct statement.
He hedged when asked about his future plans.


To move sideways.
He edged closer to hear the conversation better.


A word or phrase that makes a statement less forceful or assertive.
Perhaps is a hedge that weakens the certainty of a statement.


A state of keenness or intensity.
The intensity in her voice gave an edge to the performance.


To protect oneself against loss on (a bet or investment).
The gambler hedged his bets by wagering on multiple horses.


A thin, sharpened side, as of the blade of a cutting instrument.


A row of closely planted shrubs or low-growing trees forming a fence or boundary.


The degree of sharpness of a cutting blade.


A line of people or objects forming a barrier
A hedge of spectators along the sidewalk.


A penetrating, incisive quality
"His simplicity sets off the satire, and gives it a finer edge" (William Hazlitt).


A means of protection or defense, especially against financial loss
A hedge against inflation.


What does 'hedge' mean as a noun?

As a noun, hedge is a barrier or boundary formed by bushes or shrubs.

What is the 'cutting edge'?

It refers to the most advanced position in a field.

What does 'edge' mean?

Edge refers to the sharp side of something or a competitive advantage.

Can 'edge' be used metaphorically?

Yes, it can indicate a keen advantage or heightened emotional state.

What does it mean to 'hedge one's bets'?

To protect against loss by supporting more than one possible outcome.

What does 'hedge' mean as a verb?

To hedge is to avoid direct answers or protect against financial loss.

Is an 'edge' always physical?

No, it can also refer to abstract advantages or states.

Are hedges always made of plants?

Typically, yes, but 'hedge' can also refer to strategies in finance or conversation.

Can an 'edge' be dull?

Not typically; 'edge' usually implies sharpness.

What does 'having an edge' imply in business?

It suggests having a factor that gives one a superior position.

Is 'edgy' related to 'edge'?

Yes, it often describes something or someone as tense, nervous, or avant-garde.

Can 'hedging' be a financial strategy?

Yes, it's often used to manage risk in investments.

What does it mean to 'edge forward'?

To move slowly and cautiously.

Can a 'hedge' be used for privacy?

Absolutely, many people plant hedges to create private spaces.

Can hedges be used in language figuratively?

Yes, as in avoiding directness or mitigating a statement's force.

How do you 'hedge a bet'?

By placing additional bets to offset potential losses.

Is 'living on the edge' a risky lifestyle?

Yes, it implies taking risks or living in a precarious situation.

Are hedges costly to maintain?

They can be, depending on their size and type.

Does 'edge' have a positive or negative connotation?

It can have either, depending on context.

Does 'hedging' imply certainty or uncertainty?

It typically implies caution and therefore a degree of uncertainty.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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