Definition of hired gun in English:

hired gun

noun

North American
informal
  • 1A hired bodyguard, mercenary, or assassin.

    • ‘More than fifty private security companies are in Iraq today, with an estimated 20,000 hired guns working for them.’
    • ‘A possibly deadly incident involving Quinn's hired guns underscores the dangers of private forces policing American streets.’
    • ‘The arrest of about 70 alleged hired guns in Harare has sparked a frenzy of conflicting reports.’
    • ‘These people are actually mercenaries and should not be allowed to go and fight wars in other countries as hired guns.’
    • ‘I'm not ready to call these guys mercenaries, because I think there's a line between domestic PMCs and mercenaries or hired guns.’
    • ‘As they moved from place to place they were met with the organised violence of a landowning class defending its interests with hired guns.’
    • ‘This widened the gap between amateur entrants shooting just for fun and the professional hired guns who wanted to shoot for cash.’
    • ‘Bress and Gruber thoroughly enjoyed working as hired guns on Final Destination 2.’
    • ‘So Grbac and Johnson are fix-it men, hired guns who come with warning labels.’
    • ‘Are you just a hired gun, a hit man, robbing profit and power from impoverished third world countries?’
    • ‘Police said yesterday they have arrested an alleged kidnapper and hired gun who is considered the country's most wanted criminal suspect.’
    • ‘Mercenaries are not choirboys, but some outfits have signed up hired guns trained by repressive regimes.’
    • ‘For a movie that's about a professional, meticulous hired gun and the FBI dragnet to track him down, we see very little killing or police work.’
    • ‘The method that is used by the elite in Colombia to ‘take care of business,’ or kill people, is by hired guns.’
    murderer, killer, executioner, gunman, butcher, slaughterer, liquidator, exterminator, terminator
    View synonyms
  • 2An expert brought in to resolve complex legal or financial problems or to lobby for a cause.

    ‘it is a chance for an insurance company's hired gun to find some excuse to deny your benefits’
    • ‘He said: ‘An expert is not there as a hired gun, as an advocate for one cause or another, but to help the court reach a just verdict.’’
    • ‘Austin Adams believes he can run an information technology organization more efficiently than any hired gun.’
    • ‘At a diplomatic level, despite the hired guns and the planted stories, this image war was lost.’
    • ‘Robert and Eric are hired guns, and they do have to perform.’
    • ‘He was a hired gun for big corporations in the late 1950s, when he went around arguing against unionization.’
    • ‘The club struggled before a decision was made to bring in hired guns in the quest for an elusive flag.’
    • ‘Editorial writers are hired guns to write the publisher's opinion so it doesn't really matter who they are.’
    • ‘Lawyers are paid to be the hired guns and zealously defend the interests of their clients.’
    • ‘The cloak is provided by an almost uniformly compliant corps of well-paid news editors, journalists, commentators and hired guns from academia.’
    • ‘While hired guns do not flourish at Harvard or the University of Chicago, however, in Washington they roam in packs.’
    • ‘In recent years, many of these hired guns have taken over the networks they were initially contracted to protect.’
    • ‘They are not hired guns, they are not advocating their own pet theories.’
    • ‘By pointing the finger at Robin, a hired gun, she casts in a grubby light what had until now been seen as a tale of heroic political resistance.’
    • ‘The knee jerk dismissal from the hired guns of business and industry remains altogether less credible.’