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[mey-lahnzh, -lahnj]
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noun, plural mé·langes [mey-lahnzh, -lahn-jiz] /meɪˈlɑ̃ʒ, -ˈlɑn dʒɪz/.
  1. a mixture; medley.
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Origin of mélange

1645–55; < French; Old French meslance, equivalent to mesl(er) to mix (see meddle) + -ance noun suffix ≪ Germanic -ingō -ing1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for melange

Historical Examples

  • The volumes are a melange of characters, anecdotes, and reflections.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCLXXVI. February, 1847. Vol. LXI.


  • This father seems to have made a sort of melange of some of the Pentateuchal ordinances.

  • Melange, get into the carriage and examine the contents of the sword-case and all the little private recesses.

British Dictionary definitions for melange



  1. a mixture; confusion
  2. geology a totally disordered mixture of rocks of different shapes, sizes, ages, and origins
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Word Origin

C17: from French mêler to mix. See medley
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 melange


1650s, from French mélange (15c.), from mêler "to mix, mingle," from Old French mesler (see meddle).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

melange in Science


  1. A metamorphic rock formation created from materials scraped off the top of a downward moving tectonic plate in a subduction zone. Mélanges occur where plates of oceanic crust subduct beneath plates of continental crust, as along the western coast of South America. They consist of intensely deformed marine sediments and ocean-floor basalts and are characterized by the lack of regular strata, the inclusion of fragments and blocks of various rock types, and the presence of minerals that form only under high pressure and low temperature conditions.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.