mis·​cel·​la·​neous ˌmi-sə-ˈlā-nē-əs How to pronounce miscellaneous (audio)
: consisting of diverse things or members : heterogeneous
: having various traits
: dealing with or interested in diverse subjects
as a writer I was too miscellaneousGeorge Santayana
miscellaneously adverb
miscellaneousness noun

Examples of miscellaneous in a Sentence

The coyotes, in other words, also munched rabbits, woodchucks, meadow mice, deer mice, jumping mice, and freelance miscellaneous booty like frogs and fallen apples and muskrats,  … Edward Hoagland, Harper's, June 2007
The sandhogs' word for a miscellaneous happening in which a sandhog is injured is mishap. Alec Wilkinson, Double Take, Summer 2001
… we came upon what must have been his camp, a rather elaborate shelter made of lashed saplings and covered with plastic sheeting; empty Clorox bottles were scattered around, along with rope, canned goods, and what Huck Finn would have called his traps—the miscellaneous pots, clothing, and whatnot that you lug around through life. Franklin Burroughs, The River Home, 1992
a miscellaneous collection of tools the bottom of the drawer was always a miscellaneous accumulation of odds and ends
Recent Examples on the Web The payer will send you a Form 1099 to document these types of miscellaneous payments. E. Napoletano, wsj.com, 2 Jan. 2024 Other miscellaneous craft supplies like felt hearts, buttons, sequins, pom poms, ribbon, stickers, or pipe cleaners Step 1 Trace around the front of your blank note cards onto the construction paper. Robin Winningham, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Mary began downsizing to a food cart on 12th Street for office workers and miscellaneous caterings in 2007. Jill Wendholt Silva, Kansas City Star, 30 Jan. 2024 Through an investigation, police learned that the women took money, identification information and other miscellaneous items. Austin Turner, The Mercury News, 29 Jan. 2024 Monogram intends to produce and market robotic surgical equipment and related software, orthopedic implants, tissue ablation tools, navigation consumables, and other miscellaneous instrumentation necessary for reconstructive joint replacement procedures. Sacramento Bee, 24 Jan. 2024 Each set comes with four cubes of varying sizes, alongside an additional laundry bag, shoe bag, sock compartment, and miscellaneous tote for all of your other travel needs. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 21 Jan. 2024 Periodically, the door would open, the light would turn on, and a petite, dark-haired graduate student named Sarah Meiklejohn would enter the room and add to the growing piles of miscellaneous artifacts. Andy Greenberg, Ars Technica, 18 Jan. 2024 The tool comes with three percussive attachments (cone, micro-point, and flat) to target different parts of your face, one microcurrent ring, an LED ring, a cleansing ring, plus conductive gel and miscellaneous storage accessories. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 9 Jan. 2024 See More

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

Word History


Latin miscellāneus "combining various elements, mixed" (from miscellus "of mixed type, hybrid, assorted" —of uncertain origin— + -āneus, adjective suffix, probably after collēctāneus "assembled from various sources") + -ous

Note: The word miscellus first occurs in the De agri cultura of Cato the Elder, as a modifier of ūva "bunch of grapes" and vītis "vine" to denote an inferior grape variety. On formal grounds it could be a diminutive of *misculus, the presumed base of a Vulgar Latin verb *misculāre "to mix" (see meddle); *misculus would be a noun, perhaps meaning "mixture," irregularly derived from the base of the verb miscēre "to mix" (see mix entry 1). Alternatively, miscellus could hypothetically be the outcome of *minuscellus, a diminutive of minusculus "rather small" (see minuscule entry 1), with loss of the pretonic syllable by syncope and subsequent loss of the nasal consonant. A phonetic parallel would be the development of Late Latin mīsterium from ministerium (see mystery entry 2). The meaning "very small," hence "insignificant," would better fit Cato's inferior grape variety than "mixed," as a mixture of grapes does not seem to come into question. The later sense "of mixed type" would be the result of association of miscellus with miscēre. (See M. Leumann, "Lateinische Etymologien und Bedeutungen," Glotta, 11. Band [1921], pp. 190-92.) For more on the suffix -āneus see the etymology and note at spontaneous.

First Known Use

1637, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of miscellaneous was in 1637

Dictionary Entries Near miscellaneous

Cite this Entry

“Miscellaneous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miscellaneous. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


mis·​cel·​la·​neous ˌmis-ə-ˈlā-ne-əs How to pronounce miscellaneous (audio)
: consisting of many things of different sorts
miscellaneously adverb
miscellaneousness noun

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