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pell-mell

[pel-mel] /ˈpɛlˈmɛl/
adverb
1.
in disorderly, headlong haste; in a recklessly hurried manner.
2.
in a confused or jumbled mass, crowd, manner, etc.:
The crowd rushed pell-mell into the store when the doors opened.
adjective
3.
indiscriminate; disorderly; confused:
a pell-mell dash after someone.
4.
overhasty or precipitate; rash:
pell-mell spending.
noun
5.
a confused or jumbled mass, crowd, etc.
6.
disorderly, headlong haste.
Also, pellmell.
Origin
1570-1580
1570-80; < Middle French pelemele, Old French pesle mesle, rhyming compound based on mesler to mix. See meddle
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pell mell

pell-mell

/ˈpɛlˈmɛl/
adverb
1.
in a confused headlong rush: the hounds ran pell-mell into the yard
2.
in a disorderly manner: the things were piled pell-mell in the room
adjective
3.
disordered; tumultuous: a pell-mell rush for the exit
noun
4.
disorder; confusion
Word Origin
C16: from Old French pesle-mesle, jingle based on mesler to meddle
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
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Word Origin and History for pell mell

pell-mell

adv.

"confusedly," 1570s, from Middle French pêle-mêle, from Old French pesle mesle (12c.), apparently a jingling rhyme on the second element, which is from the stem of the verb mesler "to mix, mingle" (see meddle). Phonetic French form pelly melly is attested in English from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pell mell in Culture

pell-mell definition


In a confused, disorderly manner: “After the assembly, the students ran pell-mell from the auditorium.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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