far·​ra·​go fə-ˈrä-(ˌ)gō How to pronounce farrago (audio) -ˈrā- How to pronounce farrago (audio)
plural farragoes
: a confused mixture : hodgepodge

Did you know?

Farrago might seem an unlikely relative of farina (the name for the mealy breakfast cereal), but the two terms have their roots in the same Latin noun. Both derive from far, the Latin name for spelt (a type of grain). In Latin, farrago meant "mixed fodder"—cattle feed, that is. It was also used more generally to mean "mixture." When it was adopted into English in the early 1600s, farrago retained the "mixture" sense of its ancestor. Today, we often use it for a jumble or medley of disorganized, haphazard, or even nonsensical ideas or elements.

Examples of farrago in a Sentence

the shop is filled with a whimsical farrago of artwork, antiques, and vintage clothing
Recent Examples on the Web National security cases, especially around the leaking of classified material, inevitably become farragoes of complex procedural rulings and limitations on defendants’ ability to launch a coherent defense. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 13 Apr. 2023 The picture, in short, is a farrago of nonsense. Barnaby Crowcroft, National Review, 26 Dec. 2020 Director John Gould Rubin bears much of the blame for the ensuing farrago, though no one could accomplish this level of confusion alone. Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2022 The New York Times recently spent 10,000 words straining to discover that Ukraine is a central preoccupation of Vladimir Putin (a thing known for more than a decade) and then reading this back as some new insight into the collusion farrago. WSJ, 8 Nov. 2022 This farrago of nonsense was ridiculed by critics, yet was a considerable best seller, his last. New York Times, 31 Dec. 2021 The comparison doesn’t exactly flatter Pearce’s movie, an uneven farrago of science-fiction thriller and child abduction drama just about held together by Ahmed’s forceful and committed performance as a man teetering on the brink. Los Angeles Times, 3 Sep. 2021 In that now-infamous press conference, Biden unloosed a farrago of wishful thinking, happy talk, half-truths, and blatant deceptions. Rich Lowry, National Review, 20 Aug. 2021 In the weeks after the November election, Dobbs had spent most of his prime-time hour on a farrago of conspiracy theories about how Donald Trump had actually defeated Joe Biden. New York Times, 13 Jan. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'farrago.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin farragin-, farrago mixed fodder, mixture, from far spelt — more at barley

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of farrago was in 1611


Dictionary Entries Near farrago

Cite this Entry

“Farrago.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/farrago. Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

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