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

Whitaker could act as a total hatchet man and kill the investigation entirely. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "What does Jeff Sessions’s ouster mean for Robert Mueller? Here are 3 scenarios.," 7 Nov. 2018 Even so, in his four years as the nation’s top tax official, Mr. Moyane earned a national reputation as Mr. Zuma’s hatchet man, still guided by his loyalties to A.N.C. leaders who believe in the supremacy of the party over the country. New York Times, "Corruption Gutted South Africa’s Tax Agency. Now the Nation Is Paying the Price.," 10 June 2018

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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More Definitions for hatchet man

hatchet man


English Language Learners Definition of hatchet man

: a person whose job is to do harsh and unpleasant things that other people do not want to do

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hatchet man

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to spread over or through

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