Magnetic and magnetocaloric properties of polycrystalline Ho5Ge4 (orthorhombic, Sm5Ge4-type, Space group Pnma, No. 62, oP36) compound have been studied. This compound orders antiferromagnetically at ~24 K (TN). From the magnetization vs field isotherms obtained close to the magnetic transition temperature, magnetocaloric effect (MCE) has been estimated. The isothermal magnetic entropy change (ΔSM) reaches a maximum value of ~−27 J/kg-K at ~30 K for a field change of 140 kOe. A metamagnetic transition is observed in the field dependent magnetization data at temperatures below 20 K, for critical fields above 20 kOe, giving rise to a ferromagnetic order and hence a large MCE. The magnetic moment value at 2.5 K is ~8μB/Ho3+ in 90 kOe field. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.