Meaning of hatchet man

hatch'et man"

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a professional murderer.
  2. a writer or speaker who specializes in defamatory attacks, as on political candidates or public officials.
  3. a person whose job it is to execute unpleasant tasks for a superior, as dismissing employees.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.