: a mixture often of incongruous elements
a mélange of architectural styles

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Mélange got mixed into the melting pot of English back in the 1600s. It derives from the Middle French verb mesler, which means "to mix." "Mélange" is actually one of several French contributions to the English body of words for miscellaneous mixtures. "Pastiche" (meaning "a composition made up of selections of different works," or broadly, "a disorderly mixture, hodgepodge") is borrowed from French, and "medley" and "potpourri" have roots in French, too. There's also the lesser known "gallimaufry" (meaning "hodgepodge"), which comes from the Middle French galimafree (meaning "stew").

Examples of mélange in a Sentence

a mélange of colors and shapes a mélange of architectural styles
Recent Examples on the Web Upstairs, a melange of less glamorous, equally iconic works are presented. Vogue, 23 Jan. 2024 And Turmeric Tahini feature delicate pan-fried tofu surrounded by a melange of flavors and textures from brilliantly purple and tart lemon-lime cabbage to earthy orange and nutty turmeric tahini. Julie Giuffrida, Los Angeles Times, 15 Oct. 2023 That first episode, Denim also delivered an outfit that served as an homage to their hometown of PEI: The fabulously wacky look included a melange of cow prints and gingham. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 17 Jan. 2024 Aside from that, however, the inciting image — and the particular melange of styles, genres and experiments that will come into play — are to be determined. Bethanne Patrick, Los Angeles Times, 2 Jan. 2024 Olivia's original video showed a relatively good-for-you melange of snacks. Olivia Evans, Women's Health, 3 Aug. 2023 The palate is indicative of a bourbon this old, unveiling deep notes of red berry, caramel, vanilla pudding, and banana bread, all buttressed by black pepper and a melange of baking spices. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 12 Nov. 2023 This electronic melange was set against the extremely picturesque San Diego waterfront, with the festival again drawing thousands of fans to its longtime base at the city’s Bayfront Park. Katie Bain, Billboard, 19 Oct. 2023 This demographic melange is one reason Jewish Angelenos in particular were shaken by the attacks. Sonja Sharp, Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mélange.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French, "act of mixing, mixture," going back to Middle French meslinges, meslanges (plural), from mesler, meler "to mix" + -ange, deverbal action noun suffix (as in Old French loange "praise," vuidange "emptying, outlet"), borrowed from Old Low Franconian *-inga-, *-unga-, going back to Germanic *-ingō, *-ungō — more at meddle, -ing entry 1

First Known Use

1653, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mélange was in 1653


Dictionary Entries Near mélange

Cite this Entry

“Mélange.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/m%C3%A9lange. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


mé·​lange mā-ˈlänzh How to pronounce mélange (audio) -ˈlänj How to pronounce mélange (audio)
: a mixture often of dissimilar elements
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