Definition of medley in English:



  • 1A varied mixture of people or things; a miscellany.

    ‘an interesting medley of flavors’
    • ‘On every block, there are cheery decorations, a medley of red, green, and gold.’
    • ‘Of the medley of vegetables that came with my meal, boiled plus golden-roast potatoes, cauliflower, carrots etc I was particularly taken with the thin strips of crispy, crunchy red cabbage.’
    • ‘You can grow them singly, pair a couple of compatible growers, or plant a medley of three or more comeback kids whose colors and textures complement one another.’
    • ‘The mincemeat pie filling - a medley of ground meats, fruits, and spices - is soaking in brandy and rum.’
    • ‘Thick, juicy cod fillets are steamed over water that is intensely flavoured with a medley of spices, fresh herbs and aromatics.’
    • ‘It was a medley of confusion, depression and glee.’
    • ‘The workshops vary and include a medley of things, most of which involve paper and what is called ‘mindful’ artistry.’
    • ‘The frequently brilliant and sometimes searing interviewer has a compassionate side that discomposes itself into a medley of expressions on camera.’
    • ‘Compare and contrast with the usual medley of spin-doctors.’
    • ‘The chapters describing Franklin's early years are a medley of fragments, rhetorical questions, associative jumps and exclamation marks.’
    • ‘Or do you interpret it as more twisted and ironic, a bitter medley of weather criticism, tourist blurb, and the locals' proud assertions?’
    • ‘Today, cruise ships feature gourmet cuisine and what seems to be a never-ending medley of meals, along with choices for leaner menus.’
    • ‘His hot climate allows peaches with a low chill requirement to develop a medley of complex flavors.’
    • ‘A bite on the little parcel brought out a medley of exotic flavours and textures that exploded in your mouth.’
    • ‘Besides, a medley of reasons such as malnutrition, lack of hygiene and awareness-all caused by illiteracy-contributes to the cases.’
    • ‘That probably means they'll present them as a medley.’
    • ‘An unlikely medley of five friends, one of them is now a star, the other a businessman, the third a pilot while the remaining two are in the software industry.’
    • ‘For main course I had calves liver, nice and pink, on haggis mash with caramelised shallots and boudin blanc with a beef jus, a splendid medley of complementary flavours.’
    • ‘Starters were cappuccino of roasted mushroom soup with beer-battered mushrooms, followed by a tangy sorbet and a medley of lobster, langoustines and mussels in saffron sauce.’
    • ‘The chicken arrived sizzling and actually smelled and tasted like an East Indian chicken dish because of its medley of spices - a well-guarded house secret.’
    assortment, miscellany, mixture, melange, blend, variety, mixed bag, mix, diversity, collection, selection, assemblage, combination, motley collection, pot-pourri, conglomeration, jumble, mess, confusion, mishmash, hotchpotch, hodgepodge, ragbag, pastiche, patchwork, farrago, hash
    scissors-and-paste job, mash-up
    gallimaufry, omnium gatherum, olio, salmagundi, macédoine
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A collection of songs or other musical items performed as a continuous piece.
      ‘a medley of Beatles songs’
      • ‘The sexy girl group took part in the star-studded US concert in Philadelphia, where they performed a medley of their hits.’
      • ‘The mass choir thrilled the jam-packed crowd with a medley of folk songs and theatrical dramatizations.’
      • ‘Julie Andrews was received with great warmth, 38 years after Mary Poppins, as she introduced a musical medley.’
      • ‘I started screaming a medley of '80s Mandarin songs.’
      • ‘The restaurant here still has a string quartet that can play a medley of songs written about the very room you're sitting in.’
      • ‘The soundtrack consists of a medley of tunes that perfectly mesh with the tropical paradise motif.’
      • ‘This group of 20 singers have been together for five years and will perform a medley of Christmas songs and classical pieces.’
      • ‘A group of recent local migrants led the crowd in a medley of songs in various languages.’
      • ‘Since there are several pieces written in the same key and style, it would be easy to combine two or three pieces and perform them as a medley of Christmas favorites.’
      • ‘They performed a medley of well known songs that got the crowd going.’
      • ‘There will be solos and medleys of war songs, a singalong, and sketches and monologues also familiar from the war years.’
      • ‘After film clips showed them in wild tuxes during the 1970s, the quartet wore simple black suits to perform a medley including each of those songs.’
      • ‘Blessed with a Catholic upbringing, they were soon advertising their allegiance with a medley of songs from the Celtic repertoire.’
      • ‘The show came back on and they performed the medley.’
      • ‘They stop halfway down for a military marching band playing a medley of all the songs you might predict they would play.’
      • ‘It was introduced by a medley from various rap songs around the place.’
      • ‘In front of the house a brass band played a medley of tunes including the Hallelujah chorus, a fitting finale to a grand ride.’
      • ‘The young stars of the production will be singing a medley of songs from Joseph at 4pm tomorrow, on Oxenhope's millennium village green.’
      • ‘The final piece on the program was a medley of folk songs from Canada's various provinces, and went on a bit too long.’
      • ‘The group performed a medley of its greatest hits after receiving the honour from Timberlake.’
    2. 1.2A swimming race in which contestants swim sections in different strokes, either individually or in relay teams.
      • ‘Joe Speakman dominated for first place in freestyle with Matthew Clinton fourth in backstroke and sixth in the individual medley.’
      • ‘She broke her own world record in the 200-meter individual medley three times.’
      • ‘I used to swim medleys at national age groups but I concentrated more on freestyle as I got older.’
      • ‘They both won the four main swimming strokes as well as the 100m freestyle and individual medley.’
      • ‘There were individual medleys, as well as backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke and freestyle events.’
      • ‘Swimming World thought her best shot would be in the medley.’
      • ‘Rose won the 200m butterfly along with the 200m and 400m individual medleys, while finishing third in the 200m backstroke.’
      • ‘Carroll's silver went with the bronze medal she won in the 400m individual medley on night one.’
      • ‘The U.S. is looking to sweep all three relays and will be favored to take the 400 medley and free events over Australia.’
      • ‘Phelps won individual 200m and 400m medleys, 100m and 200m butterfly crowns and as part of the men's 4 x 200m freestyle.’
      • ‘Michael Phelps' 400 individual medley really took off only after he learned to relax on the first 50.’
      • ‘Last year Alexandra was a member of the special state squad for under 12s at the Homebush swimming individual medley.’
      • ‘Then up came Tom Dolan, the reigning champ in the 400-meter individual medley, preparing to swim his heat.’
      • ‘Apparently, ever since a female umpire disqualified him from the individual medley at a swimming gala he'd found it difficult to deal with older women.’
      • ‘The individual medley provided the Games with the first ever swimming champion from Zimbabwe.’
      • ‘Alexa Lewis anchored the medley, while Norra Stroh contributed to the 400 free relay.’
      • ‘But he was stunned when he won gold and then a bronze in the individual medley.’
      • ‘Moses swept the breaststrokes, as did Tom Wilkens in the individual medleys.’
      • ‘Caolan was also second in the individual medley and third in the freestyle.’
      • ‘Kenyon added four victories in relays, taking all but the 200 medley, which was won by Emory.’


  • Mixed; motley.

    ‘a medley range of vague and variable impressions’


[WITH OBJECT]archaic
  • Make a medley of; intermix.


Middle English (denoting hand-to-hand combat, also cloth made of variegated wool): from Old French medlee, variant of meslee melee based on medieval Latin misculare to mix; compare with meddle.