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


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 25-year-old Catalan singer later took the stage to perform a medley that captured her singular sound — and the attention of viewers who may have been getting restless in the award show’s third hour. Bethonie Butler, Washington Post, "How Rosalía brought flamenco to the VMAs — and into the genre-bending world of modern pop," 27 Aug. 2019 Elliott lit up social media with a medley of two decades worth of hits, while Cyrus performed a breakup anthem fresh off her separation from Liam Hemsworth. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for August 27: Opioids, G7, China spy claim, Indonesia, VMAs," 27 Aug. 2019 Every week, the bar was crowded with a medley of folks — from drag queens dancing through crowds of newbies to regulars returning for a night of fun. Daily Pilot, "Laguna’s former Boom Boom Room slated to become Bear Flag Fish Co.," 14 Aug. 2019 On Sunday, Blige performed a medley of her hits as part of the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Mary J. Blige and Nas will share bill at Bankers Life Fieldhouse," 24 June 2019 Those hills cover nearly a quarter of the state, a medley of parks and forest that includes Bear Mountain (2,316 feet), the highest peak in the state. Pamela Wright,, "When in Connecticut, head for the Hills," 28 Aug. 2019 Following the show stopping medley of tunes, many on Twitter quickly took to their timelines to show support for Lizzo. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Lizzo Rocked Her MTV VMAs 2019 Performance in Front of a Giant, Bouncing Booty," 27 Aug. 2019 But the closing covers medley was a genuine surprise, and arguably even more entertaining than a McLachlan cameo. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hootie & the Blowfish redefine the band's legacy, and reclaim its relevance, at Alpine Valley Music Theatre," 24 Aug. 2019 Garland also included it in a medley of songs in her legendary 1961 Carnegie Hall concert. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "8 essential Judy Garland movies that aren't The Wizard of Oz," 23 Aug. 2019

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 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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Dictionary Entries near medley





medley relay



Statistics for medley

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on medley

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with medley

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for medley

Spanish Central: Translation of medley

Nglish: Translation of medley for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of medley for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about medley

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).


to make a temporary encampment

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