med·​ley | \ ˈmed-lē How to pronounce medley (audio) \
plural medleys

Definition of medley

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a musical composition made up of a series of songs or short pieces a medley of show tunes
2 : a diverse assortment or mixture especially : hodgepodge a medley of sounds a medley of desserts was arrested on a medley of charges
3 archaic : melee



Definition of medley (Entry 2 of 2)

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Examples of medley in a Sentence

Noun a medley of show tunes a medley of snack foods available on the buffet table
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Underwood will perform from the Grand Ole Opry and will honor trailblazing female Opry members by performing a medley of songs by Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. Paul Grein, Billboard, "2020 ACM Awards: Carrie Underwood, Trisha Yearwood and This Dynamic Duo Are Set to Perform," 9 Sep. 2020 And then there was Gaga, who may or may not have been on location, but still ended up stealing the evening with a medley of hits that included a stint at the piano. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, "MTV Video Music Awards viewers get punk'd in a ceremony that was anything but live," 30 Aug. 2020 Rather, you would be assigned to stand a rotating medley of security posts for 12 hours a day. Robert Maniak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: In the heat and pressure cooker that was Afghanistan, we knew when not to shoot. Why didn't Kenosha police?," 27 Aug. 2020 Beginning with damp hair, Gerber painted pink from mid-lengths to ends, resulting in a medley of petal-pink strands and golden roots. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Kaia Gerber Dyes Her Hair Pink—And Shares a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Process," 18 Aug. 2020 Her solution for bringing the medley of pale tones to life was pretty simple—texture, texture, and more velvety texture. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "This Monochromatic Houston Home Has Sky-High Architectural Ambitions," 14 Aug. 2020 As part of the celebration of Allen’s life and work, Koleoso curated a special medley gathering the likes of U.K. jazz standouts Nubya Garcia, Mutale Chashi, Tobi Adenaike, Elias Atkinson, Richie Seivwright, Deschanel Gordon and Junior Alli. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Flying Lotus, FKA Twigs, Vince Clarke & More Win at 2020 AIM Awards," 12 Aug. 2020 Nearly seven minutes into the medley, Curreri steered himself back to a delicate place. Brendan Fitzgerald, Longreads, "“I miss my body when it was ferocious” The Transfiguration of Paul Curreri," 10 Aug. 2020 Among the complex medley of moving parts that guide protest movements, urban design might seem like a fairly peripheral concern. Peter Schwartzstein, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Urban Design Can Make or Break Protests," 29 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Texans were led by their girls medley team, which reached the championship final and placed eighth, and Megan Lewis, who took seventh in the 500 free and ninth for the B final victory in the 200 free. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Strake Jesuit’s Culligan earns UIL state swimming call-up," 10 Feb. 2020 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 3


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for medley

Noun and Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for medley

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for medley

Last Updated

16 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Medley.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for medley


How to pronounce medley (audio)

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 How to pronounce medley (audio) \
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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