Definition of horde in English:



  • 1derogatory A large group of people.

    ‘a horde of beery rugby fans’
    • ‘Such is the notoriety of the paintings, the auction at Gleneagles next month is expected to attract interest from a horde of international collectors who are expected to bid at least £30,000 for the pair.’
    • ‘The prospect of better remuneration and living conditions attracted a horde of low paid Muslims to such gatherings.’
    • ‘Now, however, with internal communications networks and the speed of the Internet, you don't need a horde of people in a big pyramid to handle all that information.’
    • ‘There's even a marvelous impression of an infatuated audience given by a horde of panting extras.’
    • ‘It's one thing to get some exercise; it's something else to repeatedly, day after day, show off in spandex before a horde of newspapermen.’
    • ‘I had forgotten that Julian himself had a horde of loyal female defenders.’
    • ‘A passionate left-wing polemicist, he nonetheless retained more than a few traces of his public-school breeding, including a plummy accent and a horde of posh friends.’
    • ‘Few men ever enter the hallowed portals of the bridal shop and the dress, once bought, is jealously guarded from male sight by a horde of female relatives.’
    • ‘If you're going to have a birthday party and want to transport a horde of 10-year-olds, borrow the minivan.’
    • ‘Although a horde of Thursday night previewers came to the consensus that ‘it was cute,’ this film is not worth paying $8 or over to see.’
    • ‘A group of strangers barricade themselves into a house in order to escape from a horde of flesh-eating zombies.’
    • ‘When the victorious Indian team landed in Delhi on their way back from Sydney, IHF president K. P. S. Gill and a horde of officials received the team at the airport.’
    • ‘When you find the whole nation, is behaving like a horde of mythical lemmings, about to go over the cliff, you don't want to follow lemming opinion!’
    • ‘He got savaged, for the umpteenth time, by a horde of ravening Republicans.’
    • ‘But leader writers have to compete for attention nowadays with a horde of columnists and regular commentators who indulge in polemics which are, by their nature, less measured than editorials.’
    • ‘Outside the Russia House, headquarters for the country's Olympic delegation in Turin, a horde of people gathered at the entryway, looking frozen and distraught.’
    • ‘The 99-year-old circus has pitched tents here with about 300 staff and a horde of animals, including elephants, horses, parrots and dogs.’
    • ‘Dating back hundreds of years to the times when the Kazakhs were divided into three distinct hordes or large tribes, it has been important to know about your kin groups.’
    • ‘It's already clear that there are a whole bunch of highbrows who talk only to themselves and a horde of middlebrows who simply try to out-bray one another.’
    • ‘The media plans to assemble a horde of journalists in Terre Haute to report live on the execution.’
    • ‘On one side of the avenue stood a horde of onlookers, on the other television crews, all looking two blocks south towards a colossal pile of twisted and smoking steel, seven stories high.’
    group, gang, mob, pack, troop, troupe, company, party, bevy, crew, body, working party, posse
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    1. 1.1 An army or tribe of nomadic warriors.
      ‘Tartar hordes’
      • ‘The feudal ownership of land did bring dignity, whereas the modern ownership of movables is reducing us again to a nomadic horde.’
      • ‘Britain has been invaded by a Saxon horde, and a Roman family, including the Pope's godson Alecto, is directly in the path of the Saxon advance.’
      • ‘In the east and north are the humanoid hordes and the barbarian nomads.’
      • ‘We are like hordes of nomads constantly changing places in a feeble attempt to make our work lives better.’
      • ‘These abilities can be upgraded as well, providing Kratos with stronger magical attacks, which give him an edge in fighting off the hordes of enemies flocking to Ares' flag of destruction.’
      • ‘Driving his bloodthirsty hordes ever forward, the Dark Lord began scouring every single dimension, leaving no stone unturned.’
      • ‘Residents need not fear an invading horde of Iceni warriors, for it is the 16 ft tall statue of Colchester's first lady that is making a comeback.’
      • ‘A barrier of shimmering light appeared, stretching from wall to wall and ceiling to floor just as the horde of evil warriors ran straight into it, letting out cries of rage at a magic they could not get though.’
      • ‘The Viking hordes returned to York this weekend as fierce armoured warriors mingled with the city centre crowds.’
      • ‘Kourin and Kellan worked their way through the horde of warriors, seeking to join up with Regnor.’
      • ‘It was deeply metallic, and somewhat dark; almost like that of the hybrid outcast he had led his horde against over five centuries ago.’
      • ‘It was completely devastated by Turkmen tribes, the hordes of Tamerlane, and the Persian Safavids.’
      • ‘This nomadic horde on horses is supposed to have ‘conquered’ a civilization covering an area of almost 800,000 square kilometers.’
      • ‘The angelic army and the necromancer horde were both spectators in the arena.’
      • ‘After 10 years and the labor of over 800,000 soldiers and peasants, China had a wall stretching over 3,000 miles to repel the Mongol hordes.’
      • ‘There are three primary dialects that correspond to the three historic Kazak hordes.’
      • ‘He says he has united the Germanic Tribes, and the hordes of Iberia, Italia, and Britannica, in a full wave to conquer all.’
      • ‘When the empire collapsed, hordes of barbarian armies, including the infamous Vandal pirates, invaded Italy throughout the fifth century AD.’
      • ‘She had seen the Grand Conflux, beset by a dark horde of warriors, greater in strength and number than any army that had been raised by mortal hands.’
      • ‘But which North Yorkshire clash between the English army and the Viking hordes took place the same year?’
      crowd, large group, mob, pack, gang, troop, army, swarm, mass
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  • 2Anthropology
    A small loosely knit social group typically consisting of about five families.

    • ‘And without the ties of kinship, we would be nothing more than a disconnected horde.’
    • ‘That primitive society took the form of a horde, the leader of which horde, the horde-father, actuated by his sexual jealousy, habitually treated his sons with extreme brutality.’
    • ‘The criminal deed is the sons' murder of the tribal patriarch who had monopolized the women of the horde.’
    • ‘After the slaying and cannibalising of the primal father, if the horde was to survive, there had to be a prohibition against murder and another against incest.’


The words hoard and horde are quite distinct; see hoard


Mid 16th century (originally denoting a tribe or troop of Tartar or other nomads): from Polish horda, from Turkish ordu ‘(royal) camp’.