hired gun

noun Informal.
a person hired to kill someone, as a gunfighter or professional killer.
a person hired to bear arms and fight for another, as a bodyguard or mercenary.
a person, as a politician or lobbyist, skilled at attaining power for others.
a person hired to resolve difficult problems or disputes or to handle complex legal or business problems.


Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

hired gun

  1. A person, especially a professional killer, employed to kill-someone, as in They thought the murder had been done by a hired gun. The noun gun has been slang for a professional criminal since the mid-1800s.

  2. A person with special knowledge or expertise who is employed to resolve a complex problem. For example, The legal team was looking for a hired gun to handle the antitrust angle of the case. [Slang; 1960s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
He was cryptology's hired gun, and everywhere he went his reputation as a publisher of government secrets followed him.
More importantly, you realize that as a foreigner, you will be seen as a hired gun.
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