AskDefine | Define hoard

Dictionary Definition

hoard n : a secret store of valuables or money [syn: cache, stash]


1 save up as for future use [syn: stash, cache, lay away, hive up, squirrel away]
2 get or gather together; "I am accumulating evidence for the man's unfaithfulness to his wife"; "She is amassing a lot of data for her thesis"; "She rolled up a small fortune" [syn: roll up, collect, accumulate, pile up, amass, compile]

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English hord.


IPA: /hɔ:d/


  1. A hidden, secret supply or fund.



  1. To amass, usually for one's personal collection.


Extensive Definition

In archaeology, a hoard is a collection of artifacts purposely buried in the ground. This would usually be with the intention of later recovery by the hoarder; hoarders sometimes died before retrieving the hoard, and these surviving hoards may be uncovered by metal-detectorists, members of the public and archaeologists much later. Forgetfulness and physical displacement from the location of the hoard may contribute to failing to retrieve it.
Hoards provide a useful method of providing dates for artifacts through association as they can usually be assumed to be contemporary and therefore used in creating chronologies. Hoards can also be considered an indicator of the relative degree of unrest in ancient societies. Thus conditions in 5th century and 6th century Britain spurred the burial of hoards of which the most famous are the Hoxne Hoard, Suffolk; the Mildenhall Treasure, the Fishpool Hoard, Nottinghamshire, the Water Newton hoard, Cambridgeshire, and the Cuerdale Hoard, Lancashire, all preserved in the British Museum.
Prudence Harper of the Metropolitan Museum of Art voiced some practical reservations about hoards at the time of the Soviet exhibition of Scythian gold in New York, 1975. Writing of the so-called "Maikop treasure" acquired from three separate sources by three museums early in the twentieth century, the Berliner Museen, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Metropolitan Museum, New York, Harper warned
"By the time "hoards" or "treasures" reach museums from the antiquities market, it often happens that miscellaneous objects varying in date and style have become attached to the original group."


Hoards may be of precious metals, coinage, tools or more rarely, pottery. There are various classifications depending on the nature of the hoard.
A founder's hoard contains broken or unfit metal objects, ingots, casting waste, and often complete objects, in a finished state. These were probably buried with the intention to recover at a later time.
A merchant's hoard is a collection of various functional items which, it is conjectured, were buried by a traveling merchant for safety, with the intention of later retrieval.
A personal hoard is a collection of personal objects buried for safety in times of unrest.
A hoard of loot is a buried collection of spoils from raiding and is more in keeping with the popular idea of "buried treasure".
Votive hoards are different from the above in that they represent purposeful deposition of items, either all at once or over time for ritual purposes, without intent to recover them. Furthermore, votive hoards need not be "manufactured" goods, but can include organic amulets and animal remains. Votive hoards are often distinguished from more functional deposits by the nature of the goods themselves (from animal bones to diminutive artifacts), the places buried (being often associated with watery places, burial mounds and boundaries), and the treatment of the deposit (careful or haphazard placement and whether ritually destroyed/broken).

Hoards with individual articles


hoard in German: Depotfund
hoard in Latvian: Depozīts
hoard in Polish: Skarb

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abundance, accumulate, accumulation, agglomeration, amass, amassment, assemble, backlog, budget, cache, capital gains, cleanup, clear profit, collect, collection, colluvies, commissariat, commissary, conglomeration, cornucopia, cumulate, cumulation, dividends, dump, earnings, filthy lucre, fund, gain, gains, garner, garner up, gather, gather into barns, get, gettings, gleanings, gross, gross profit, heap, heap up, hide, hoard up, hold, income, interest, inventory, keep, killing, larder, lay by, lay up, lucre, makings, mass, material, materials, materiel, munitions, neat profit, nest egg, net, net profit, paper profits, pelf, percentage, perk, perks, perquisite, pickings, pile, pile up, plenitude, plenty, proceeds, profit, profits, provisionment, provisions, put away, put up, rake-off, rations, receipts, repertoire, repertory, reserve, reservoir, return, returns, rick, save, save up, secrete, set aside, sock away, squirrel, squirrel away, stack, stash, stock, stock up, stock-in-trade, stockpile, store, store up, stores, supplies, supply, supply on hand, take, take-in, treasure, treasure up, treasury, trove, wealth, winnings
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