hoard vs. horde

What is the difference between hoard and horde?

The homophones hoard and horde (both pronounced /hɔrd/) have related but different meanings.
Hoard, as a noun, means “a large supply or accumulated store gathered and carefully hidden or guarded for preservation or future use”; as a verb, it describes the action of accumulating such a hoard. For example:
  • “It’s rumored that the king kept a hoard of treasure beneath the dungeon of the castle.”
  • “I’ve been hoarding vintage toys since I was a teenager.”
The noun horde similarly refers to a collection, but while hoard relates to collections of things, horde refers to large groups, crowds, or mobs of people. For example:
  • “The movie star fled the restaurant when a horde of screaming fans descended upon her.”
  • “Many different nomadic hordes composed the tribe, descendants of which still travel the region to this day.”

Spelling Tricks and Tips

If you are trying to remember which spelling is correct, keep this in mind:
  • If such a collection can be kept beneath the floorboards, you are describing a hoard.
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