American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One who works solely for compensation, especially a person willing to perform for a fee tasks considered menial or offensive.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who is hired or serves for wages: now used only in reprobation or contempt, as in def. 2.
- n. A mercenary; one who acts only with a view to reward or material benefit.
- Serving for wages; employed for money or other compensation; venal; mercenary.
- Synonyms Mercenary, etc. See venal.
- n. an employee who is hired, often to perform unpleasant tasks with little independence
- n. someone who does a job purely for money, rather than out of interest in the work itself
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. One who is hired, or who serves for wages; esp., one whose motive and interest in serving another are wholly gainful; a mercenary.
- adj. Serving for hire or wages; venal; mercenary.
- n. a person who works only for money
- From Middle English, from Old English hȳrling ("hireling, employee"), from Proto-Germanic *hūzijō-lingaz (“hireling”), equivalent to hire + -ling. Cognate with Dutch huurling ("hireling, mercenary"). (Wiktionary)
“But those are hirelings that love the wages more than the work, and set their hearts upon that, as the hireling is said to do, Deut. xxiv.”
“Armenian (Timothy); Joseph (Epaphroditus); Zachary, who was rejected by many and called a hireling; Baanes; Sergius (Tychicus).”
“The time fixed for the execution of this sentence: Within three years, as the years of a hireling, that is, at the three years 'end exactly, for a servant that is hired for a certain term keeps account to a day.”
“They rode out of the Guild hold in single file with Martis riding in the lead, since protocol demanded that the "hireling" ride behind the "mistress" while they were inside the town wall.”
“Some Unitarian Universalists view the relationship of minister to congregation as a business relationship in which the minister is the employee of the congregation; I have even heard the word "hireling" used to describe a minister.”
“What is meant by a 'hireling'?" was asked of a class in a day-school.”
“Although by another saying of the Lord, it is rendered certain that hired, and even in a sinister sense "hireling," shepherds were known at the time in the country, the presumption that the flock which this shepherd tended was his own property is favoured both by the specific phraseology employed in the narrative, and the special circumstances of this particular case.”
“After his death his son Zachary (the "hireling") and his son-in-law,”
“hireling," except to utter a command or a rebuke.”
“Villain: Buttons Zortell (hireling), Nick Clipton (fake name of the man behind the sabotage, obvious early in the story that it is one of the three mine owners)”
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