I want to inquire if this sentence "the power to hire and fire" is an idiomatic phrase or not?. Does it mean that a person has the ability to make decisions? For example:

  • Two guys are chatting... One said: Our manager has the power to hire and fire.

Does this sentence mean that the manager really can hire and fire employees or it just means that he has the power to make decisions? Maybe both meanings are correct?

  • 2
    A minor correction: "the power to hire and fire" isn't a sentence, it's a phrase.
    – stangdon
    May 3, 2017 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


Hire and fire means to employ new staff and dismiss existing staff (very frequently)

to have power means to have authority, ability or capacity to do something

Your sentence:

  • Our manager has the power to hire and fire. (Is just a phrase and not an idiom)

Means that the manager has the ability (authority) to employ staff and dismiss staff (very frequently).

  • Thank you. "he power to hire and fire" is this phrase is an idiom or just phrase
    – goro
    May 3, 2017 at 15:33
  • 1
    I don't think "very frequently" is part of the definition. If a person has the authority to make employment decisions, then he has "the power to hire and fire", whether he actually hires new people or fires existing staff daily or once a year.
    – Jay
    May 3, 2017 at 15:46
  • 3
    @goro The meaning is literal and straightforward, so I wouldn't call it an "idiom". "Idiom" normally indicates a phrase that cannot be understood by putting together the meanings of the individual words, or a word or phrase with a non-standard definition. This is just a common phrase.
    – Jay
    May 3, 2017 at 15:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .