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a Tatar feudal state which arose in 1433 in the Black Sea area between the Don and the Dnieper, during the breakup of the Golden Horde.
With the help of the Lithuanian grand duke Svidrigailo, Khan Said Ahmad, grandson of Toktamish, became leader of the Great Horde. The population of the Great Horde was mainly occupied with nomadic cattle raising and agriculture. The Great Horde, fielding an army of 100,000, played an important political role in Eastern Europe in the mid-15th century. After the defeat inflicted on the Great Horde in the winter of 1455–56 by the Crimean khan Hadji-Girei, its center was relocated to the banks of the Volga. In 1465, the Great Horde lost Astrakhan, where Khan Makhmud (ruled 1459–65), fleeing his brother, who had risen against him, founded the independent Astrakhan khanate. The Great Horde grew somewhat stronger during the reign of Khan Akhmat (ruled 1465–81). An alliance with Poland was concluded in 1472 and friendly relations established with Turkey in 1476. The descendants of Akhmat did not exercise such political influence. From 1486 to 1491 the Crimean khan Mengli-Girei routed the Great Horde, and in 1502 he liquidated its independence.