: a confused struggle; especially : a hand-to-hand fight among several people
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 mêlée, 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").
"In a notorious episode in 2000, a fan snatched Dodgers catcher Chad Kreuter's hat as he sat on the bullpen bench, setting off a melee in which Dodgers players and coaches climbed into the stands." — Billy Witz, The New York Times, 8 May 2017
"Police said they are working with the State Department and Secret Service to identify Erdogan guards who they believe instigated the melee." — Tracy Wilkinson, The Baltimore Sun, 18 May 2017
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of melee: COUINRT.VIEW THE ANSWER
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