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See more synonyms for medley on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural med·leys.
  1. a mixture, especially of heterogeneous elements; hodgepodge; jumble.
  2. a piece of music combining tunes or passages from various sources: a medley of hit songs from Broadway shows.
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  1. Archaic. mixed; mingled.
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Origin of medley

1300–50; Middle English medlee (noun and adj.) < Anglo-French, noun and adj. use of feminine of past participle of medler to mix, fight; see meddle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for medley

jumble, mixture, patchwork, farrago, variety, hodgepodge, confusion, collection, composition, melee, salmagundi, conglomeration, brew, pastiche, assortment, mishmash, potpourri, combo, pasticcio

Examples from the Web for medley

Contemporary Examples of medley

Historical Examples of medley

  • He left the Polish philosopher on the threshold, agitated by a medley of feelings.

  • In this medley the sense of the present tended to disappear.

    Women's Wild Oats

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • Waverley reached the castle amidst a medley of conflicting passions.


    Sir Walter Scott

  • Mrs. Medley's reply was inaudible, but apparently in the affirmative.

  • There lay the medley of his books, his only friends, his real passion.

    Robert Elsmere

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

British Dictionary definitions for medley


  1. a mixture of various types or elements
  2. a musical composition consisting of various tunes arranged as a continuous whole
  3. Also called: medley relay
    1. swimminga race in which a different stroke is used for each length
    2. athleticsa relay race in which each leg has a different distance
  4. an archaic word for melee
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  1. of, being, or relating to a mixture or variety
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Word Origin for medley

C14: from Old French medlee, from medler to mix, quarrel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for medley


c.1300, "hand-to-hand combat," from Old French medlee, variant of meslee (see meddle). Meaning "combination, mixture" is from mid-15c.; that of "musical combination consisting of diverse parts" is from 1620s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper