pellmell

pell-mell

[pel-mel]
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:
1570–80; < Middle French pelemele, Old French pesle mesle, rhyming compound based on mesler to mix. See meddle

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World English Dictionary
pell-mell (ˈpɛlˈmɛl)
 
adv
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
 
adj
3.  disordered; tumultuous: a pell-mell rush for the exit
 
n
4.  disorder; confusion
 
[C16: from Old French pesle-mesle, jingle based on mesler to meddle]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pell-mell
"confusedly," 1579, from M.Fr. pêle-mêle, from O.Fr. pesle mesle (12c.), apparently a jingling rhyme on the second element, which is from the stem of the verb mesler "to mix, mingle."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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