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verb (used with object), hired, hir·ing.
  1. to engage the services of (a person or persons) for wages or other payment: to hire a clerk.
  2. to engage the temporary use of at a set price; rent: to hire a limousine.
  1. the act of hiring.
  2. the state or condition of being hired.
  3. the price or compensation paid or contracted to be paid for the temporary use of something or for personal services or labor; pay: The laborer is worthy of his hire.
  4. Informal. a person hired or to be hired: Most of our new hires are college-educated.
  1. British. available for hire; rental: a hire car.
Verb Phrases
  1. hire on, to obtain employment; take a job: They hired on as wranglers with the rodeo.
  2. hire out, to offer or exchange one's services for payment: He hired himself out as a handyman.
  1. for hire, available for use or service in exchange for payment.Also on hire.

Origin of hire

before 1000; (v.) Middle English hiren, Old English hȳrian (cognate with Dutch huren, Low German hüren, Old Frisian hēra); (noun) Middle English; Old English hȳr; cognate with Dutch huur, Low German hüre (whence Dutch hyre, Swedish hyra, German Heuer), Frisian hēre
Related formshir·ee, nounhir·er, nounout·hire, verb (used with object), out·hired, out·hir·ing.pre·hir·ing, adjectivere·hire, verb, re·hired, re·hir·ing, nounun·hired, adjective
Can be confusedhigher hire (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for hire

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1. employ. 2. lease. Hire, charter, rent refer to paying money for the use of something. Hire is a general word, most commonly applied to paying money for labor or services, but is also used in reference to paying for the temporary use of automobiles (usually with a chauffeur), halls, etc.; in New England, it is used in speaking of borrowing money on which interest is to be paid (to distinguish from borrowing from a friend, who would not accept any interest): to hire a gardener, a delivery truck, a hall for a convention. Charter formerly meant to pay for the use of a vessel, but is now applied with increasing frequency to leasing any conveyance for the use of a group: to charter a boat, a bus, a plane. Rent is used in the latter sense, also, but is usually applied to paying a set sum once or at regular intervals for the use of a dwelling, room, personal effects, an automobile (which one drives oneself), etc.: to rent a business building. 5. rent, rental; stipend, wages, salary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hire

Contemporary Examples of hire

Historical Examples of hire

British Dictionary definitions for hire


verb (tr)
  1. to acquire the temporary use of (a thing) or the services of (a person) in exchange for payment
  2. to employ (a person) for wages
  3. (often foll by out) to provide (something) or the services of (oneself or others) for an agreed payment, usually for an agreed period
  4. (tr foll by out) mainly British to pay independent contractors for (work to be done)
    1. the act of hiring or the state of being hired
    2. (as modifier)a hire car
    1. the price paid or payable for a person's services or the temporary use of something
    2. (as modifier)the hire charge
  1. for hire or on hire available for service or temporary use in exchange for payment
Derived Formshirable or hireable, adjectivehirer, noun

Word Origin for hire

Old English hӯrian; related to Old Frisian hēra to lease, Middle Dutch hūren
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hire

Old English hyrian "pay for service, employ for wages, engage," from Proto-Germanic *hurjan (cf. Danish hyre, Old Frisian hera, Dutch huren, German heuern "to hire, rent"). Reflexively, "to agree to work for wages" from mid-13c. Related: Hired; hiring.


"payment for work, use, or services; wages," from Old English hyr "wages; interest, usury," from Proto-Germanic *hurja- (see hire (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper