Know these essential literary terms?


[med-lee] /ˈmɛd li/
noun, plural medleys.
a mixture, especially of heterogeneous elements; hodgepodge; jumble.
a piece of music combining tunes or passages from various sources:
a medley of hit songs from Broadway shows.
Archaic. mixed; mingled.
1300-50; Middle English medlee (noun and adj.) < Anglo-French, noun and adj. use of feminine of past participle of medler to mix, fight; see meddle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for medley
  • medley seems to have a list of race- and science-related issues she wants to touch on in her play.
  • The researcher has been looking forward to trying a cicada-vegetable medley.
  • We also combine all three types in a medley with leeks, mint, and cream.
  • Set to a medley of excellent songs, this short video brilliantly illustrates how cells produce proteins.
  • He recommended replacing the current medley with a single diploma.
  • Even a simple woven bag was a medley of colors and fabrics.
  • Roasted beets and a crisp medley of raw vegetables make a beautiful composed salad.
  • The medley in the middle was a bit contrived and a few songs didn't fit well.
  • Hongkong has an interesting medley of trams, buses, underground rail and elevated walking routes.
  • There is only selfish, individual and greedy medley of people.
British Dictionary definitions for medley


a mixture of various types or elements
a musical composition consisting of various tunes arranged as a continuous whole
Also called medley relay
  1. (swimming) a race in which a different stroke is used for each length
  2. (athletics) a relay race in which each leg has a different distance
an archaic word for melee
of, being, or relating to a mixture or variety
Word Origin
C14: from Old French medlee, from medler to mix, quarrel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for medley

c.1300, "hand-to-hand combat," from Old French medlee, variant of meslee (see meddle). Meaning "combination, mixture" is from mid-15c.; that of "musical combination consisting of diverse parts" is from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Click to see easier and harder words for medley

Word Value for medley

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with medley