Definition of hired gun in English:

hired gun


informalNorth American
  • 1A hired bodyguard, mercenary, or assassin.

    • ‘I'm not ready to call these guys mercenaries, because I think there's a line between domestic PMCs and mercenaries or hired guns.’
    • ‘Are you just a hired gun, a hit man, robbing profit and power from impoverished third world countries?’
    • ‘More than fifty private security companies are in Iraq today, with an estimated 20,000 hired guns working for them.’
    • ‘The method that is used by the elite in Colombia to ‘take care of business,’ or kill people, is by hired guns.’
    • ‘Mercenaries are not choirboys, but some outfits have signed up hired guns trained by repressive regimes.’
    • ‘Bress and Gruber thoroughly enjoyed working as hired guns on Final Destination 2.’
    • ‘So Grbac and Johnson are fix-it men, hired guns who come with warning labels.’
    • ‘As they moved from place to place they were met with the organised violence of a landowning class defending its interests with hired guns.’
    • ‘These people are actually mercenaries and should not be allowed to go and fight wars in other countries as hired guns.’
    • ‘This widened the gap between amateur entrants shooting just for fun and the professional hired guns who wanted to shoot for cash.’
    • ‘For a movie that's about a professional, meticulous hired gun and the FBI dragnet to track him down, we see very little killing or police work.’
    • ‘A possibly deadly incident involving Quinn's hired guns underscores the dangers of private forces policing American streets.’
    • ‘The arrest of about 70 alleged hired guns in Harare has sparked a frenzy of conflicting reports.’
    • ‘Police said yesterday they have arrested an alleged kidnapper and hired gun who is considered the country's most wanted criminal suspect.’
    murderer, killer, executioner, gunman, butcher, slaughterer, liquidator, exterminator, terminator
  • 2An expert brought in to resolve complex legal or financial problems or to lobby for a cause.

    ‘it is a chance for an insurance company's hired gun to find some excuse to deny your benefits’
    • ‘The club struggled before a decision was made to bring in hired guns in the quest for an elusive flag.’
    • ‘Editorial writers are hired guns to write the publisher's opinion so it doesn't really matter who they are.’
    • ‘The cloak is provided by an almost uniformly compliant corps of well-paid news editors, journalists, commentators and hired guns from academia.’
    • ‘He said: ‘An expert is not there as a hired gun, as an advocate for one cause or another, but to help the court reach a just verdict.’’
    • ‘Lawyers are paid to be the hired guns and zealously defend the interests of their clients.’
    • ‘Robert and Eric are hired guns, and they do have to perform.’
    • ‘In recent years, many of these hired guns have taken over the networks they were initially contracted to protect.’
    • ‘At a diplomatic level, despite the hired guns and the planted stories, this image war was lost.’
    • ‘Austin Adams believes he can run an information technology organization more efficiently than any hired gun.’
    • ‘They are not hired guns, they are not advocating their own pet theories.’
    • ‘While hired guns do not flourish at Harvard or the University of Chicago, however, in Washington they roam in packs.’
    • ‘The knee jerk dismissal from the hired guns of business and industry remains altogether less credible.’
    • ‘He was a hired gun for big corporations in the late 1950s, when he went around arguing against unionization.’
    • ‘By pointing the finger at Robin, a hired gun, she casts in a grubby light what had until now been seen as a tale of heroic political resistance.’