Famous People dictionary

Attila the Hun

Who was Attila the Hun?

Attila the Hun was a major military ruler in 5th-century Europe, best known for his savage fighting and constant sieges of the Roman Empire. Commonly misspelled as Atilla, his name has become a synonym for a ruthless warrior.

Related words:

  • barbarian
  • Gaul
  • The Goths
  • The Huns
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Examples of Attila the Hun
[B]oth Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump have posted some of the highest negatives since Attila the Hun.
John Feffer, The Nation, May, 2018
Nunes is blatantly unamerican. To be called an “American Hero” by Trump is like calling Attila The Hun a peacemaker. Just Say’n ⚡⚡⚡
@tennesseewebb, May, 2018
Attila the Hun, a.k.a. "The Scourge of God," a.k.a. the guy who makes Khal Drogo look like a member of Greenpeace, was a pretty fearsome guy. Leader of the nomadic Hun armies, he razed whole cities to the ground. But in the end he was taken down not in battle or by a Drogo-style duel, but by a simple nosebleed.
Isobel Hamilton, Mashable, May, 2018
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Where does Attila the Hun come from?
attila the hun

Originating from the steppes around the Caspian Sea, the Huns were a group of nomadic tribes in Europe during the 4th and 5th centuries CE.

Attila (406–453) became one of the most fearsome rulers of the Huns, consolidating various groups into an empire that spanned from central Europe to central Asia.

Attila notably attacked the Roman Empire. While he never captured Constantinople, Rome’s eastern seat, his sieges on Roman lands contributed to the splintering and dissolution of Rome.

Nicknamed the Scourge of God, Attila was notorious for his brilliant but ferocious military, commanding and formidable bearing, and an intimidating gaze as well as claiming he wielded the very sword of Mars.

Often depicted on horseback with a bow-and-arrow wearing a kind of pointed, fur-brimmed hats associated with Central Asian peoples, Attila the Hun is widely cited as a ruthless warrior.


He’s been featured in everything from Dante Aligheri’s Inferno to Night at the Museum, the 2006 comedy where he is a minor character.

Yet for his savagery, it’s said that Attila the Hun died from a nosebleed during his wedding feast.

Who uses Attila the Hun?

Outside of historic references, Attila the Hun is a figure for a vicious fighter or cruel person.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of Attila the Hun like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Attila the Hun that will help our users expand their word mastery.