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[hawrd, hohrd] /hɔrd, hoʊrd/
a large group, multitude, number, etc.; a mass or crowd:
a horde of tourists.
a tribe or troop of Asian nomads.
any nomadic group.
a moving pack or swarm of animals:
A horde of mosquitoes invaded the camp.
verb (used without object), horded, hording.
to gather in a horde:
The prisoners horded together in the compound.
Ukrainian dialect
1545-55; earlier also hord, hordaCzech, Polish horda < Ukrainian dialect gordá, Ukrainian ordá, Old Russian (orig. in Zolotaya orda the Golden Horde), via Mongolian or directly < Turkic ordu, orda royal residence or camp (later, any military encampment, army); cf. Urdu
Can be confused
hoard, horde.
1. mob, herd, throng. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hordes
  • hordes of precious bankers deserted both firms in the shake-ups that followed.
  • Management is needed to protect it before the hordes arrive.
  • Sure there were cavernous showrooms, hordes of gadget-lusting revelers and rampant consumerism.
  • To avoid the hordes of day-trippers, spend the night.
  • But the hordes of pasty-faced teens with monitors under their arms needed space, and they took over the room.
  • To invite hordes of people to unconscionably tramp across the salt marshes is nuts.
  • The first step is to manage well those hordes of students and their piles of papers and exams.
  • And no other photographic technique is as neglected by the vast hordes of photographers producing pictures.
  • And without fail, hordes of lecherous suits line up with their cameras.
  • The new liquid abundance attracted hordes of unwanted nomads.
British Dictionary definitions for hordes


a vast crowd; throng; mob
a local group of people in a nomadic society
a nomadic group of people, esp an Asiatic group
a large moving mass of animals, esp insects
(intransitive) to form, move in, or live in a horde
Usage note
Horde is sometimes wrongly written where hoard is meant: a hoard (not horde) of gold coins
Word Origin
C16: from Polish horda, from Turkish ordū camp; compare Urdu
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hordes



1550s, from W. Turkic (cf. Tatar urda "horde," Turkish ordu "camp, army"), to English via Polish, French, or Spanish. The initial -h- seems to have been acquired in Polish. Transferred sense of "uncivilized gang" is from 1610s. Related: Hordes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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