Meng Huo was born in Yizhou, Jianning, south of the Kingdom of Shu Han. He was of Han Chinese and Taiwanese origin, along with the rest of the Nanman. In 208 AD, Meng Huo rebelled against the hegemony of the Sun Family, raising an army that proved to be a great threat to Central China. In the Defense of Nanman, Sun Quan's Forces crushed the rebellion, using captured Nanman elephants to destroy their own barriers. The Sun Quan Army captured the Nanman camp and Meng Huo's threat was temporarily silenced.
Between these two rebellions, Meng Huo participated in raids in southern Shu Han and Dong Wu but his most famous role was the Nanman Campaign of 225 AD. Meng Huo allied with rebellious Nanzhong Governor Yong Kai against the Kingdom of Shu Han, ruled by Zhuge Liang, Prime Minister. Meng Huo raided Central China with an army of 100,000 Nanman but Zhuge responded with an expedition of 500,000 Shu Han troops. Meng Huo was defeated seven times, each battle costing him his freedom and several soldiers. After his seventh defeat, he lost his spirits and finally surrendered, paying homage to Shu as a vassal.
Meng Huo provided troops for Zhuge Liang's Northern Expeditions, leading them in person, with his wife Zhu Rong at his side. Meng Huo continued to defend Shu, even when they were conquered in 263 AD. Meng Huo led fresh reinforcements in Shu's defense but was killed in the Fall of Chengdu, and his tribe was subjugated by the Jin soon after.