- 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.
Origin of hired gun
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.
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]