from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A corrupt politician.
- n. A member of a Chinese-American secret society of paid assassins and blackmailers.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A ruffian, especially one of a gang.
- n. A member of one of several Chinese criminal gangs associated with illegal immigration and prostitution.
- n. A swindler, especially a corrupt politician.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A ruffian; one who hounds, or spies upon, another; app. esp. to the members of certain alleged societies among the Chinese.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A bold, roystering rowdy; an insolent ruffian; one of a gang which commits outrages on persons or property “for fun.”
- n. A member of a Chinese secret society, band, or gang, said to exist in California and other parts of the United States, associated for blackmailing purposes, and even for assassination, in the interest and pay of other societies or individuals.
- Supremely happy.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a corrupt politician
It may be that the Chinese 'highbinder' has a discrete origin: thus Asbury _Barbary Coast_ 1933 185: 'The _boo how doy_, popularly known as hatchetmen or highbinders, received regular salaries, with extra pay for exceptional bravery in battle.'
The Senator is just not the highbinder you may have imagined.
Ah Sing in the swelling of commendable pride, at having outwitted the most notorious highbinder in Chinatown, built him a house that was quite large enough to swing a cat in, and as gorgeous inside as a joss house, and quite as dingy without, with the wisdom of Confucius done in very large characters on very red paper pasted all about the front door.
After that no self-respecting highbinder could hold up his head.
The highbinder, evincing not the slightest irritation at his failures, changed the method of attack.
I explained that a highbinder ranked with a professional murderer in this country, whereupon she again laughed, and, turning to General ----, in a loud voice said, "General, I have been calling the ---- a highbinder," at which the company laughed at my expense.
And twelve for Tessie, and eight for this highbinder on my knee, here!
Give the good dope a chance: it'll only need a moment, or I'm no judge and you're a careless highbinder!
Remember, Mawruss, you got to tell him that as a partner I am a crank and a regular highbinder.
Takes one of these old-fashioned beer bottles with patent stoppers, fills it up with unslaked lime, pours in a little water, stops it up, drops it in a likely looking trout pool, and in one minute it explodes as good as something made by a Russian patriot; all the trout in the pool are knocked out and float on the surface, where this old highbinder gathers 'em in.