hire·​ling ˈhī(-ə)r-liŋ How to pronounce hireling (audio)
: a person who serves for hire especially for purely mercenary motives

Examples of hireling in a Sentence

She's one of the political hirelings who run the candidate's campaign. demanded to speak to the store's owner and not one of his hirelings
Recent Examples on the Web To pretend otherwise in the year 2024 is all-but to out oneself as a hireling. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 12 Feb. 2024 Who are those hirelings, paid for by foreign intelligence services?! The Editors, Foreign Affairs, 4 June 2011 For all the bombast about Trump as a potential Putin hireling, so assiduously hyped by the media and congressional Democrats, Mueller’s actual charges mainly involved false statements made to FBI investigators, often about comparatively trivial matters. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 15 Feb. 2022 No refuge could save the hireling and slave. Vanessa Etienne, PEOPLE.com, 30 June 2021 Neither should some assistant DA hireling be allowed to forgo appropriate punishment under state law. Star Tribune, 8 Dec. 2020 Like Sade, Epstein had hirelings to procure his victims. Mitchell Abidor, The New York Review of Books, 12 Feb. 2020 Not since Carson Palmer has one of Mike Brown’s hirelings had the emperor in such a headlock. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, 2 Jan. 2018 This dangerous idea is being pushed by Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, a U.S. contracting firm whose private security hirelings famously shot up civilians in Baghdad. Trudy Rubin, Philly.com, 18 Aug. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hireling.' 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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hireling was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near hireling

Cite this Entry

“Hireling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hireling. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


hire·​ling ˈhī(ə)r-liŋ How to pronounce hireling (audio)
: a person who works for wages and usually for no other reason
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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