One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A member of a warlike Asiatic nomadic people who invaded and ravaged Europe in the 4th–5th centuries.
- ‘Attila assembled a huge army of several tens of thousands of Huns, Goths, Gepids, Heruls, and others, besieged and took Aquileia, and marched as far as Milan, which offered no resistance.’
- ‘But no one really knows what kind of language Hunnic was, which is odd considering what a big splash Attila and the Huns made across Asia and Europe in the 5th century AD.’
- ‘In the first two decades of the 5th century, the Huns arrived in central Europe and subjugated many Germanic peoples.’
- ‘In the fourth century, the Huns, a nomadic people from central Asia, began attacking the German tribes.’
- ‘When Rome collapsed in the fifth century AD, Trieste was overrun by the Huns, and then fell under Byzantine rule.’
- 1.1 A reckless or uncivilized destroyer.‘corporate huns masquerading as white knights’
- ‘We stumbled in to the Lager House like conquering Huns drunk on French wine.’
2informal, derogatory A German (especially during the First and Second World Wars).
- 2.1 Germans collectively.‘millions of boys were eager to go and fight the Hun’
- ‘Patton was quick to volunteer for an unofficial expeditionary force to fight the Hun's skeletal legions.’
- ‘Kiwis have always marched where empire dictated, be it to fight the Boer, the Hun or the Cong.’
- ‘As full-fledged fighting men, they would now join in the fight against the Hun.’
- ‘They have put on uniforms and been drilled into rude shape to fight the Hun in World War I.’
- ‘I remember when I was fighting the Hun in North Africa, and me and the boys used to sit around and compare notes from home.’
- 2.1 Germans collectively.
Old English Hūne, Hūnas (plural), from late Latin Hunni, from Greek Hounnoi, of Middle Iranian origin.
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