hatchet man


Definition of hatchet man

1 : one hired for murder, coercion, or attack
2a : a writer specializing in invective
b : a person hired to perform underhanded or unscrupulous tasks (as to ruin someone's reputation)

Examples of hatchet man in a Sentence

She doesn't criticize her opponent's character directly. She has her hatchet men in the media do it for her. He was fired by his boss's hatchet man.
Recent Examples on the Web Barr was especially willing to serve as Trump’s legal hatchet man. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 21 Oct. 2021 Indeed, Garland has quietly emerged as Donald Trump’s unwitting hatchet man, doing almost everything in his power to protect the lawless former President’s legacy. Jeff Hauser, The New Republic, 8 June 2021 The right wing's favorite hatchet man was now creating a new news network. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 1 Feb. 2021 The Mondale inner circle wanted Ferraro to play the traditional running-mate role of hatchet man. Maureen Dowd New York Times, Star Tribune, 10 Aug. 2020 In a role reversal from their eight years together in the White House, Barack Obama has become Joe Biden’s wingman and, in his understated way, his hatchet man. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, 1 Aug. 2020 In the Stone case, too, Shea served as Barr’s hatchet man. Jonathan Stevenson, The New York Review of Books, 15 May 2020 Whitaker as the hatchet man who ends the probe The most alarming scenario is Trump has installed Whitaker specifically to do the president’s bidding and thwart the probe — completely shutting things down to protect the president. Andrew Prokop, Vox, 7 Nov. 2018 Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s legal hatchet man, is openly trying to dig up dirt on one of Joe Biden’s sons in Ukraine to damage the Democratic frontrunner’s presidential bid. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 23 Sep. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hatchet man.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hatchet man

1876, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of hatchet man was in 1876

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Dictionary Entries Near hatchet man

hatchet job

hatchet man

hatchet stake

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Cite this Entry

“Hatchet man.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hatchet%20man. Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

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