Commonly Confused Words: Hoard vs. Horde

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What does each word mean?

A hoard is a secret store of valuables or money. As a verb, the word refers to the act of gathering or saving supplies for future use.

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is hoard used in some example sentences:

  • While cleaning out his late mother’s house, he found a hoard of old coins.
  • Some animals hoard food for the winter.

Click here to find the Spellzone study lists related to the word hoard.

The word horde refers to a large group of moving people like a crowd or a nomadic community.

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is horde used in an example sentence:

  • She pushed through the hordes as she raced to reach the bus stop on time.
  • At the end of the match, hordes of fans rushed onto the pitch.

Click here to create a Spellzone study list including the word horde.

Where does each word come from?

Hoard comes from the Old English ‘hotd’ meaning ‘a treasure, valuable stock or store’.

Horde dates back to the 1550s and was borrowed into English from West Turkic via Polish, French, or Spanish. The word described a ‘tribe of Asiatic nomads living in tents’. Horde has been used as a verb since the 1820s.

Are there any tricks to help remember the difference between hoard and horde?

Horde and order have four of the same letters in them. Come up with a sentence using both words to help you remember what horde means. For example: She pushed through the horde in order to find her friend.


What words do you constantly mix up? Let us know and we’ll cover them in our Commonly Confused Words series.

Sources: The Online Etymology Dictionary.

08 Aug 2018
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