Definition of Hun in English:



  • 1A member of a warlike Asiatic nomadic people who invaded and ravaged Europe in the 4th–5th centuries.

    • ‘When Rome collapsed in the fifth century AD, Trieste was overrun by the Huns, and then fell under Byzantine rule.’
    • ‘In the fourth century, the Huns, a nomadic people from central Asia, began attacking the German tribes.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 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).

    1. 2.1 Germans collectively.
      ‘millions of boys were eager to go and fight the Hun’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Kiwis have always marched where empire dictated, be it to fight the Boer, the Hun or the Cong.’
      • ‘Patton was quick to volunteer for an unofficial expeditionary force to fight the Hun's skeletal legions.’


Old English Hūne, Hūnas (plural), from late Latin Hunni, from Greek Hounnoi, of Middle Iranian origin.