far·​ra·​go | \fə-ˈrä-(ˌ)gō, -ˈrā- \
plural farragoes

Definition of farrago 

: a confused mixture : hodgepodge

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Did You Know?

Farrago might seem an unlikely relative of "farina" (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

The website that says it is associated with Operational Forces Action, A.F.O. in French, is a farrago of threats and vague ideology. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "Shadowy Cell in France Plotted to Kill Muslim Civilians, Authorities Say," 28 June 2018 Indeed, the farrago signalled his strength as well as his weakness. The Economist, "A blot against America," 23 June 2018 Her childhood had been quietly calamitous, her father's career a farrago of alcoholism, shame, and secret homosexuality. Michael Chabon, GQ, "Michael Chabon: Are Kids the Enemy of Writing?," 27 Apr. 2018 Yet there are two reasons to find hope in this farrago. The Economist, "Racial progress and the NFL," 30 Sep. 2017 Spicer’s overture statement was a farrago of false assertions, misleading stats, and embattled attitude, putting those Beltway press-corps punks on notice that there was a new sheriff in town. James Wolcott, The Hive, "There’s Nowhere Left for Sean Spicer to Hide," 4 July 2017 This is a rich farrago of truth, misdirection, and hand-waving. David A. Graham, The Atlantic, "The Trump Uncertainty Principle," 6 July 2017 Kara’s opening monologue gives a sense of the show’s tone, a farrago of hand-wringing and rustic absurdity, with a Freudian undercurrent. Dan Piepenbring, The New Yorker, "Watch Jonathan Demme’s Pitch-Black Eighties Sitcom Episode," 1 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'farrago.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of farrago

1632, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for farrago

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

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Time Traveler for farrago

The first known use of farrago was in 1632

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More from Merriam-Webster on farrago

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for farrago

Britannica English: Translation of farrago for Arabic Speakers

Comments on farrago

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playful or foolish behavior

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