Hoard vs. Horde – What’s the Difference?

If a shambling crowd of zombies is chasing you, the last thing on your mind should be whether or not they form a horde or a hoard.

Once you’ve reached safety, however, the question may still persist. These words are homophones, which means they are pronounced similarly but have different definitions.

English has many such words, and all writers become confused by them at some point over the course of their careers. Continue reading to discover the difference between these two homophones.

What is the Difference Between Hoard and Horde?

In this post, I will compare hoard vs. horde. I will use each of these words in at least one example sentence. I will also show you a memory trick that will help you choose hoard or horde next time you need one of those words.

When to Use Hoard

hoard versus horde meaningWhat does hoard mean? Hoard can be a noun or a verb.

As a noun, hoard means a large collection of objects or money. In this sense, it is a synonym of stockpile or cache.

Here are a few examples,

  • By age 16, Merle had accumulated a massive hoard of baseball cards.
  • Apple’s hoard of overseas cash dwarfs the entire market capitalization of many of its competitors.
  • Deep inside the mountain, a dragon slept atop its vast hoard of gold and jewels.
  • In the depths below, he had located a 2,000-year-old shipwreck—and the biggest hoard of ancient Greek sculptures ever found. –The Wall Street Journal

As a verb, hoard means to accumulate a large collection of objects or money, often in secret.

I have included an example below,

  • Some of our patients hoard food; you must check their dresser drawers daily to maintain the cleanliness of the facility.

A hoarder is something who hoards.

When to Use Horde

Definition of horde definition and definition of hoard definitionWhat does horde mean? Horde is a noun. A horde is a large crowd of people.

See the below sentences for examples,

  • A horde of millennials blocked the entrance to the new Trader Joe’s location.
  • A horde of degenerates crowded into the venue to experience a Nickelback concert.
  • I ran as far as I could, but horde of zombies knew no weariness, and it soon overtook me.
  • It combines traditional fitness tracking with audio stories and motivational goals that push you to run ahead of an advancing zombie horde. –The New York Times

Trick to Remember the Difference

Define horde and define hoardHorde and hoard can each be used as a noun, but only hoard is a verb. Thus, if you are using the word as a verb, hoard is your only choice.

As a noun, use horde for a group of people, and hoard for a collection or stockpile of goods or money. You can easily remember horde vs. hoard by keeping in mind that both horde and people contain the letter E. You should use hoard for a large quantity of anything else.

Summary

Is it hoard or horde? While these two words are pronounced the same, they have completely different meanings.

  • A hoard is a large quantity of goods or money.
  • To hoard is also to amass a large collection or stockpile.
  • A horde is a large group of people.

Since horde and people are both spelled with the letter E, you can remember to use horde to mean a group of people. Use hoard for any group of inanimate objects.

Homophones confuse everyone, but the choice of horde or hoard should not cause you any more problems. Next time you discover confusing homophones, but sure to check this site for help.