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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n. a paid assassin. (Underworld.) The cops are holding a well-known hired gun until they can prepare charges.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.