hireling

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English hirlyng, from Old English hȳrling (hireling, employee), from Proto-West Germanic *hūʀijuling. Cognate with West Frisian hierling, Dutch huurling (hireling, mercenary), German Low German Hüürling, German Heuerling.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

hireling (plural hirelings)

  1. (usually derogatory) An employee who is hired, often to perform unpleasant tasks with little independence.
  2. (usually derogatory) Someone who does a job purely for money, rather than out of interest in the work itself.
  3. A horse for hire.
    • 1934, Evelyn Waugh, A Handful of Dust, Chapter 3, Section 5:
      In the afternoon they went to a neighbouring livery stables to look for hirellings.
  4. (obsolete) A prostitute.

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