Definition of melee
: a confused struggle; especially : a hand-to-hand fight among several people They were seriously injured in the melee.
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Examples of melee in a sentence
a verbal disagreement at the football game soon turned into a general melee involving scores of spectators
Did You Know?
Fray, "donnybrook," "brawl," "fracas": there are many English words for confused and noisy fights, and in the 17th century "melee" was thrown into the mix. It comes from the French melee, which in turn comes from the Old French meslee, meaning "mixture." "Meslee" comes from the Old French verb mesler, or "medler," which means "to mix." This verb is also the source of "medley" ("a mixture or hodgepodge") and "meddle" ("to mix oneself in others' affairs" or "to interfere").
Origin and Etymology of melee
French mêlée, from Old French meslee, from mesler to mix — more at meddle
First Known Use: circa 1648
MELEE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of melee for English Language Learners
: a confused struggle or fight involving many people
Seen and Heard
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