1 [mey-ley, mey-ley, mel-ey]
a confused hand-to-hand fight or struggle among several people.
confusion; turmoil; jumble: the melee of Christmas shopping.
Also, mêlée.

1640–50; < French mêlée. See medley Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
melee or mêlée (ˈmɛleɪ)
a noisy riotous fight or brawl
[C17: from French mêlée. See medley]
mêlée or mêlée
[C17: from French mêlée. See medley]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1648, from Fr. mêlée, from O.Fr. meslee "confused fight, mixture," from fem. pp. of mesler "to mix, mingle" (see meddle). See also medley.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
At some point a fight erupted between several party-goers and knives were used
  in the melee.
At least one person was hurt in the melee.
So what is making me do it, making me re-enter the emotional melee that is the
  job search? A variety of reasons, all good.
In the resulting melee, two officers were injured and five businesses damaged.
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