pell-mell

or pell·mell

[ pel-mel ]
/ ˈpɛlˈmɛl /

adverb

in disorderly, headlong haste; in a recklessly hurried manner.
in a confused or jumbled mass, crowd, manner, etc.: The crowd rushed pell-mell into the store when the doors opened.

adjective

indiscriminate; disorderly; confused: a pell-mell dash after someone.
overhasty or precipitate; rash: pell-mell spending.

noun

a confused or jumbled mass, crowd, etc.
disorderly, headlong haste.

Origin of pell-mell

1570–80; < Middle French pelemele, Old French pesle mesle, rhyming compound based on mesler to mix. See meddle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pell-mell

British Dictionary definitions for pell-mell

pell-mell

/ (ˈpɛlˈmɛl) /

adverb

in a confused headlong rushthe hounds ran pell-mell into the yard
in a disorderly mannerthe things were piled pell-mell in the room

adjective

disordered; tumultuousa pell-mell rush for the exit

noun

disorder; confusion

Word Origin for pell-mell

C16: from Old French pesle-mesle, jingle based on mesler to meddle
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

Culture definitions for pell-mell

pell-mell

In a confused, disorderly manner: “After the assembly, the students ran pell-mell from the auditorium.”


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.