[ hahyuhr-ling ]
/ ˈhaɪər lɪŋ /


a person who works only for pay, especially in a menial or boring job, with little or no concern for the value of the work.


serving for pay only.
venal; mercenary.

Nearby words

  1. hire-purchase,
  2. hire-purchase system,
  3. hired gun,
  4. hired hand,
  5. hiree,
  6. hiri motu,
  7. hiring hall,
  8. hiring-fair,
  9. hirohito,
  10. hiroshige

Origin of hireling

before 1000; late Middle English hirlyng, Old English hȳrling. See hire, -ling1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hireling

British Dictionary definitions for hireling


/ (ˈhaɪəlɪŋ) /


derogatory a person who works only for money, esp one paid to do something unpleasant

Word Origin for hireling

Old English hӯrling; related to Dutch huurling; see hire, -ling 1

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 hireling



"one who works for hire," Old English hyrling; see hire + -ling. As an adjective by 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper