Definition of melee in English:

melee

noun

  • 1A confused fight or scuffle.

    ‘several people were hurt in the melee’
    • ‘We're asked to believe that his post-match melees leave him merely bruised, when he would most likely be eating his meals through a straw.’
    • ‘They managed to retrieve their son from the melee and, with a struggle, reached the safety of their home.’
    • ‘Several melees broke out on the field as the game threatened to spill over into all out violence.’
    • ‘When battles do occur, they usually turn into confused melees.’
    • ‘Then the fight became a full-on melee as the crowd found its nerve and joined the fray.’
    • ‘The fight soon degenerated into a bloody melee, each man for himself.’
    • ‘Both Cork goals were scored from melees in front of the posts and both were controversial.’
    • ‘Carlisle says his wife Linda was hit with a fist in the melee.’
    • ‘We see the use of lances with hooks, to unhorse an opponent, but there is little mounted archery, and too much man-to-man sword fighting in small, confused melees.’
    • ‘In the melee, the iron railing leading to the park's entrance on Cipero Street broke, causing fans to fall on top of each other.’
    • ‘After the initial charge, both lines are broken, and the battle degenerates into a chaotic melee.’
    • ‘People panicked and stampeded, blows rained down, people fell and hurt themselves in the melee.’
    • ‘My family and I have been woken in the early hours by football chants, fights and general melees on occasions too numerous to recall.’
    • ‘Amelia ducked and rolled to the side to avoid being impaled by Breanne's rapier, the fight now a melee.’
    • ‘For some reason, perhaps to differentiate rugby melees from all the other tussles, the word evolved into ‘scrummage’ with a U.’
    • ‘In a melee, the combat becomes very strategic and each player can handle the combat in a different manner.’
    • ‘‘When people take to the battlefield it becomes a melee of killing and being killed,’ he says.’
    • ‘Another person involved in the melee was jailed for violent disorder after his trial for murder collapsed.’
    • ‘He described two fights within the extended melee outside the nightclub.’
    • ‘Curious tourists and reporters were often trapped in the melees.’
    tumult, disturbance, rumpus, commotion, disorder
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A confused crowd of people.
      ‘the melee of people that were always thronging the streets’
      • ‘Prague by day is a melee of tourists, heads cocked skyward, nodding in disbelief at yet another beautiful building.’
      • ‘With a melee of artists, dancers, musicians and bands, the crowds gathered to enjoy the sunshine and take part in the festivities.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: from French mêlée, from an Old French variant of meslee (see medley).

Pronunciation

melee

/ˈmɛleɪ/