Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An often jumbled assortment; a mixture.
  • noun Music An arrangement made from a series of melodies, often from various sources.
  • noun Sports An event in competitive swimming in which backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle are swum in equal distances by an individual or as divisions of a relay race.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A mixture; a mingled and confused mass of elements, ingredients, or parts; a jumble; a hodgepodge.
  • noun A musical composition, song, or entertainment consisting of incongruous or disjointed scraps or parts selected from different sources; a mélange or potpourri.
  • noun A fabric woven from yarn spun from wool which has been dyed of various colors.
  • noun A hand-to-hand fight; a melley or mêlée.
  • noun Synonyms Miscellany, Jumble, etc. See mixture.
  • Mingled; confused.
  • Mixed; of a mixed stuff or color.
  • To mix.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Mixed; of mixed material or color.
  • adjective Mingled; confused.
  • noun A mixture; a mingled and confused mass of ingredients, usually inharmonious; a jumble; a hodgepodge; -- often used contemptuously.
  • noun obsolete The confusion of a hand to hand battle; a brisk, hand to hand engagement; a mêlée.
  • noun (Mus.) A composition of passages detached from several different compositions; a potpourri.
  • noun A cloth of mixed colors.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb music To combine, to form a medley.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a musical composition consisting of a series of songs or other musical pieces from various sources

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English medlee, from Anglo-Norman medlee, meddling, from past participle of medler, to meddle; see meddle.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English medle, from Anglo-Norman medlee, Old French medlee, from Late Latin misculata, feminine past participle of misculare ("to mix"). Compare meddle, also melee.

Examples

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