med·ley | \ ˈmed-lē \
plural medleys

Definition of medley 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : melee

2 : a diverse assortment or mixture especially : hodgepodge a medley of sounds a medley of desserts was arrested on a medley of charges

3 : a musical composition made up of a series of songs or short pieces a medley of show tunes



Definition of medley (Entry 2 of 2)

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Examples of medley in a Sentence


a medley of show tunes a medley of snack foods available on the buffet table

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Great White sharks get all the press, but the waters of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic are home to a medley of unique animals., "How to do Cape Cod on a budget," 6 June 2018 Shipped in ready-to-heat cups (simply microwave for one to two minutes), the preservative-free vegetable medleys are available in three refreshing flavors: chickpea and za’atar, beet and sesame, and kale and lemongrass. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "5 New Healthy Meal-Delivery Programs, Just In Time for Summer," 11 July 2018 Their show, a medley of songs that includes some of her old hits, would open a yearlong multimedia installation at Mass MoCA’s Kidspace by Consenses, the arts organization that Ms. Taylor founded half a dozen years ago. Penelope Green, New York Times, "Carly Simon and Her Family, on Martha’s Vineyard," 30 June 2018 Urban Plates’ salad medleys include Asian chicken salad with spicy peanut dressing; grilled steak salad with jalapeno-lime dressing; Thai shrimp salad with miso-lemongrass dressing; and chicken Cobb salad with buttermilk-dill dressing. Carolina Gusman,, "Salad takes center stage in May at local restaurants for National Salad Month," 24 May 2018 Rod Stewart closed out the main stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Saturday, singing a medley of his hit songs. Washington Post, "Shake, rattle & roll: Thousands gather for Jazz Fest Day 2," 29 Apr. 2018 Manta ray/shrimp medley and carne asada at improper temperature. Robert Gundran, azcentral, "Restaurant with no sneeze guard on salsa bar among this week's violations," 11 July 2018 Kendall Drisko was entered to run in two events on Saturday: The 4x1600 relay and the 1200 leg of the distance medley. Dan Brown, Ramona Sentinel, "Jack Clough sets Ramona record in the 1500," 19 Mar. 2018 The medley of materials originated in Europe in the 15th century as a way to use leftover pieces of marble to create cheap flooring. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "This Bold '70s Flooring Material Is All the Rage Again," 12 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Spring Woods sends all six relays to regionals, led by the fifth-place medley boys team of Samuel Jennings, Hewry Schmidt, Jacob Jennings and Clayton Richard. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Memorial girls runner-up at 15-6A swim meet," 24 Jan. 2018 Hunter will have back the GMC third team 200 medley team of Owen Pelzer, Kevin LaGrange, Jakob Eichhorn and Aidan Flanigan. Scott Springer,, "Preview: St. Xavier highlights talented pool of Cincinnati swimmers, divers," 8 Dec. 2017 In addition, Munoz was part of the winning 200 medley team (back-23.43), and 400 free relay team third leg (45.29). Staff Report, Orange County Register, "Northwood boys and Woodbridge girls capture PCL swim championships.," 11 May 2017 Wright is a 100m back, 400 free and medley relay specialist. Randy Sachs,, "Young swimmers work to create foundation for Mansfield Timberview," 12 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'medley.' 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 medley


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for medley


Middle English medle, from Anglo-French medlee, from feminine of medlé, past participle of medler to mix — more at meddle


see medley entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near medley





medley relay



Statistics for medley

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for medley

The first known use of medley was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for medley



English Language Learners Definition of medley

: a musical piece made up of parts of other musical works

: a mixture of different people or things

sports : a race in swimming in which swimmers use a different stroke for each different part of the race


med·ley | \ ˈmed-lē \
plural medleys

Kids Definition of medley

1 : mixture sense 2, jumble a medley of tastes

2 : a musical selection made up of a series of different songs or parts of different compositions

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Comments on medley

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


the setting in which something occurs

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