[ med-lee ]
/ ˈmɛd li /

noun, plural med·leys.

a mixture, especially of heterogeneous elements; hodgepodge; jumble.
a piece of music combining tunes or passages from various sources: a medley of hit songs from Broadway shows.


Archaic. mixed; mingled.

Nearby words

  1. mediums,
  2. medius,
  3. medivac,
  4. medlar,
  5. medlars,
  6. medley relay,
  7. medline,
  8. medon,
  9. medorrhea,
  10. medrese

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for medley

British Dictionary definitions for medley


/ (ˈmɛdlɪ) /


a mixture of various types or elements
a musical composition consisting of various tunes arranged as a continuous whole
Also called: medley relay
  1. swimming a race in which a different stroke is used for each length
  2. athletics a relay race in which each leg has a different distance
an archaic word for melee


of, being, or relating to a mixture or variety

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper