far·​ra·​go | \ fə-ˈrä-(ˌ)gō How to pronounce farrago (audio) , -ˈrā- How to pronounce farrago (audio) \
plural farragoes

Definition of farrago

: a confused mixture : hodgepodge

Keep scrolling for more

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 After this farrago, what can Montalbano do but agree to foot the bill for the letter/litter, too? Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post, "Blind, Andrea Camilleri dictated this delightful mystery novel before his death at 93," 12 Sep. 2019 Said plot includes landslides, FBI agents, pharmaceutical mix-ups, family interventions, and journeys to the South Pole — a farrago of farce that never quite jells with the movie’s serious concerns. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Cate Blanchett makes a break for it in ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’," 15 Aug. 2019 True to form, Ms. Lipman blends a pair of highly appealing love stories into this farrago. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The Flavor of the American Century," 15 Feb. 2019 As Voltaire/Pangloss, Kevin Burdette made a brilliantly cynical cicerone through this farrago. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "Staging Reimagined Stories in New Mexico," 6 Aug. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about farrago

Time Traveler for farrago

Time Traveler

The first known use of farrago was in 1632

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about farrago

Statistics for farrago

Cite this Entry

“Farrago.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/farrago. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on farrago

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for farrago

Britannica English: Translation of farrago for Arabic Speakers

Comments on farrago

What made you want to look up farrago? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!