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1. a local group of people in a nomadic society
2. a nomadic group of people, esp an Asiatic group
3. a large moving mass of animals, esp insects



(1) Among the Turkic and Mongol peoples, a military-administrative organization, quartering place, or nomad camp. In medieval times it was a headquarters; the state rulers’ capital. Consequently, the term came to designate the great Turkic and Mongol feudal states and nomadic tribal alliances, for example, the Golden Horde and the Nogai Horde.

(2) An archaic term for the first pretribal (preclan) societies of primitive man. In this sense, “horde” is a synonym for the “primitive human herd.”

(3) In everyday usage, a horde is a large, unorganized crowd of people.

References in classic literature ?
Carthoris could not but notice the fact that though the city had been but a short time before surrounded by a horde of bloodthirsty demons yet none of the citizens appeared to be armed, nor was there sign of soldiery about.
He was partially guided by occasional shots which indicated that the Arab horde was still in touch with the villagers; but he knew that if they would but follow his advice there would be but few casualties other than on the side of the marauders.
Santa Clarita no longer is the place to go for inexpensive housing, but it is still drawing hordes of prospective buyers because of the very favorable lifestyle.
You can also get lessons there--not a bad idea when it comes to competing with the hordes of expert bladers who turn out for Friday Night Fever.
The fiercest skirmishes play out in the tropics, where hordes of hungry pests attack vegetation protected by multiple defensive weapons.
In a still largely rural region that depends on tourism (with 152,000 acres of wildlife preserve), manatees are a godsend, bringing hordes of visitors from as far away as Japan and Germany to interact with this rarest of marine mammals.
CLOTHES LINE: Hordes of fans queue outside store last night; SITTING PRETTY: Kate poses in the window of Topshop; BUBBLY: Kate and mum Linda
Most telling of all, Lloyd describes the Persian invasion fairly, not treating them as faceless hordes bent on blind conquest.
With more than 35,000 plants growing throughout a 20-acre forest of stately oak trees, this weekend's Camellia Festival will surely attract hordes of horticulturists and ordinary nature lovers.
Even better news to some residents, the shots do not seem to have triggered the population boom that some feared would create bigger, healthier hordes of raccoons to rattle garbage cans all night, report researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario.
Players use these moves to fight endless hordes of enemies on vast comic book-style stages that end with a boss battle.