hired gun


: an expert hired to do a specific and often ethically dubious job

Examples of hired gun in a Sentence

business executives and the hired guns they pay to polish their images
Recent Examples on the Web Every four years, ambitious consultants and hired guns sit down with aspiring presidents and sell them a lie. Philip Elliott, Time, 17 Aug. 2023 Anderson has been healthy and active for well over a decade, but the band — which now features Seventies guitarist Steve Howe, Drama-era keyboardist Geoff Downes, and hired guns — refuses to take him back. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 3 Apr. 2023 The ironically named Pleasant Valley War began as a dispute between the Grahams and the Tewksburys and eventually ensnared friends, neighbors and hired guns. Roger Naylor, azcentral, 12 Dec. 2019 They are hired guns in one of Manila’s hundreds of troll farms churning out fake content, false narratives and anything else the client wants. Washington Post, 26 July 2019 The retailer went on to reportedly hire gun control lobbyists in April. Nadra Nittle, Vox, 17 Dec. 2018 Political opponents and hired guns sling mud and cast aspersions, sometimes concocting things from whole cloth. Chad Pergram, Fox News, 10 Sep. 2018 Nobody in this play is more lost than Ed Devery, a lawyer who’d once been a crusading idealist, before becoming Harry’s hired gun and a drunk. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 June 2018 The contrade pay their jockeys handsomely to ride for them, yet these jockeys are hired guns and fundamentally unfaithful. Dwight Garner, New York Times, 16 Apr. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hired gun.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hired gun was in 1971

Dictionary Entries Near hired gun

Cite this Entry

“Hired gun.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hired%20gun. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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