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hired gun

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noun Informal.
a person hired to kill someone, as a gunfighter or professional killer.
a person hired to bear arms and fight for another, as a bodyguard or mercenary.
a person, as a politician or lobbyist, skilled at attaining power for others.
a person hired to resolve difficult problems or disputes or to handle complex legal or business problems.
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Origin of hired gun

First recorded in 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hired gun in a sentence

Other Idioms and Phrases with hired gun

hired gun

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® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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