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1. A person who is hired to kill someone. Don't worry about that snitch. We've sent a couple of hired guns around to his house, so he won't be a problem for us much longer.
2. A person employed to provide armed protection for or fight on behalf of someone. Things have become so violent in the town that even the mayor has taken on some hired guns to keep him safe. The rebels brought in a few hired guns to help bolster their meager attack.
3. A person who is especially skilled at attaining power for others, such as a lobbyist or politician. The corporation has sent their best hired gun to convince the senator to vote against the environmental regulation bill.
4. A person hired to resolve difficult or complex problems or disputes, especially in business or law. Because of the intricacy of the legislation, the company brought in a hired gun to ensure the merger deal didn't hit any legal snags.
Available for employment. I hear that Sasha's old tutor is available for hire—I think she would make a great addition to our teaching staff.
See also: hire
Available for employment. I hear that Sasha's old tutor is available on hire—I think she would make a great addition to our teaching staff.
One or more persons who have been paid to intimidate someone else (typically into doing something that will benefit the hired muscle's "boss"). I can't believe Jimmy sent some hired muscle after me—I was always going to pay him back, sheesh! Their so-called hired muscle is just one guy, and I'm bigger than him.
the laborer is worthy of his hire
Workers should or deserve to be paid. The phrase comes from the Bible. You did a fine job in the stables, Edgar. I have some money for you, as the laborer is worthy of his hire.
hire and fire
Employ and release from employment. The department has started looking into the practices of businesses that hire and fire staff quickly enough that they never have to pay employment benefits. Your complaints have been duly noted, but the board of directors will have the final authority to hire and fire.
ply for hire
To seek out or try to engage new customers. Said especially of taxi services. Primarily heard in UK. The city council has introduced new measures to crack down on the number of taxis allowed to stop outside of pubs and theatres plying for hire.
hire someone away (from someone or something)
[for one] to get someone to quit working for some other employer and begin working for one. We hired Elaine away from her previous employer, and now she wants to go back. The new bank hired away all the tellers from the old bank.
hire someone or something out
to grant someone the use or efforts of someone or something for pay. I hired my son out as a lawn-care specialist. I hire out my son to mow lawns.
not for hire
[of a taxi] not available to take new passengers. The taxi was going to pick someone up at a nearby hotel and was not for hire. The taxi had a lighted sign that said it was not for hire.
1. A person, especially a professional killer, employed to kill someone, as in They thought the murder had been done by a hired gun. The noun gun has been slang for a professional criminal since the mid-1800s.
2. A person with special knowledge or expertise who is employed to resolve a complex problem. For example, The legal team was looking for a hired gun to handle the antitrust angle of the case. [Slang; 1960s]
Also, hired man or girl . A person engaged to assist with farm or domestic chores, as in We need extra hired hands during the harvest, or She was looking for a hired girl to do the laundry. This use of hired dates from the 1200s and referred to someone employed for wages as opposed to a slave or serf. The use of girl now may be offensive.
Obtain work; also, grant the services or temporary use of for a fee, as in He hired out as a cook, or They hired out the cottage for the summer. [Second half of 1700s]
hire and fireengage and dismiss, especially as indicating a position of established authority over other employees.
1992 Martin Anderson Impostors in the Temple Usually the trustees, and they alone, hire and fire the president. They have fiduciary responsibility.
ply for ˈhire/ˈtrade/ˈbusiness(British English) look for customers, passengers, etc. in order to do business: There are plenty of taxis plying for hire outside the theatre.
To grant the services of someone or the temporary use of something for a fee: The agency hires out temporary workers to local businesses. We hired out the cottage for the summer. My friends hired themselves out as cooks.
n. a paid assassin. (Underworld.) The cops are holding a well-known hired gun until they can prepare charges.