Definition of medley in US English:



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

    ‘an interesting medley of flavors’
    • ‘Or do you interpret it as more twisted and ironic, a bitter medley of weather criticism, tourist blurb, and the locals' proud assertions?’
    • ‘It was a medley of confusion, depression and glee.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His hot climate allows peaches with a low chill requirement to develop a medley of complex flavors.’
    • ‘Besides, a medley of reasons such as malnutrition, lack of hygiene and awareness-all caused by illiteracy-contributes to the cases.’
    • ‘Today, cruise ships feature gourmet cuisine and what seems to be a never-ending medley of meals, along with choices for leaner menus.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The frequently brilliant and sometimes searing interviewer has a compassionate side that discomposes itself into a medley of expressions on camera.’
    • ‘That probably means they'll present them as a medley.’
    • ‘Compare and contrast with the usual medley of spin-doctors.’
    • ‘A bite on the little parcel brought out a medley of exotic flavours and textures that exploded in your mouth.’
    • ‘On every block, there are cheery decorations, a medley of red, green, and gold.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 chapters describing Franklin's early years are a medley of fragments, rhetorical questions, associative jumps and exclamation marks.’
    • ‘Thick, juicy cod fillets are steamed over water that is intensely flavoured with a medley of spices, fresh herbs and aromatics.’
    • ‘The mincemeat pie filling - a medley of ground meats, fruits, and spices - is soaking in brandy and rum.’
    • ‘The workshops vary and include a medley of things, most of which involve paper and what is called ‘mindful’ artistry.’
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A collection of songs or other musical items performed as a continuous piece.
      ‘a medley of Beatles songs’
      • ‘They performed a medley of well known songs that got the crowd going.’
      • ‘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 show came back on and they performed the medley.’
      • ‘This group of 20 singers have been together for five years and will perform a medley of Christmas songs and classical pieces.’
      • ‘The sexy girl group took part in the star-studded US concert in Philadelphia, where they performed a medley of their hits.’
      • ‘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 mass choir thrilled the jam-packed crowd with a medley of folk songs and theatrical dramatizations.’
      • ‘There will be solos and medleys of war songs, a singalong, and sketches and monologues also familiar from the war years.’
      • ‘Julie Andrews was received with great warmth, 38 years after Mary Poppins, as she introduced a musical medley.’
      • ‘The restaurant here still has a string quartet that can play a medley of songs written about the very room you're sitting in.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Blessed with a Catholic upbringing, they were soon advertising their allegiance with a medley of songs from the Celtic repertoire.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The soundtrack consists of a medley of tunes that perfectly mesh with the tropical paradise motif.’
      • ‘It was introduced by a medley from various rap songs around the place.’
      • ‘The group performed a medley of its greatest hits after receiving the honour from Timberlake.’
      • ‘In front of the house a brass band played a medley of tunes including the Hallelujah chorus, a fitting finale to a grand ride.’
      • ‘A group of recent local migrants led the crowd in a medley of songs in various languages.’
      • ‘I started screaming a medley of '80s Mandarin songs.’
      • ‘They stop halfway down for a military marching band playing a medley of all the songs you might predict they would play.’
    2. 1.2 A swimming race in which contestants swim sections in different strokes, either individually or in relay teams.
      • ‘Last year Alexandra was a member of the special state squad for under 12s at the Homebush swimming individual medley.’
      • ‘She broke her own world record in the 200-meter individual medley three times.’
      • ‘But he was stunned when he won gold and then a bronze in the individual medley.’
      • ‘Then up came Tom Dolan, the reigning champ in the 400-meter individual medley, preparing to swim his heat.’
      • ‘The individual medley provided the Games with the first ever swimming champion from Zimbabwe.’
      • ‘Phelps won individual 200m and 400m medleys, 100m and 200m butterfly crowns and as part of the men's 4 x 200m freestyle.’
      • ‘I used to swim medleys at national age groups but I concentrated more on freestyle as I got older.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The U.S. is looking to sweep all three relays and will be favored to take the 400 medley and free events over Australia.’
      • ‘Joe Speakman dominated for first place in freestyle with Matthew Clinton fourth in backstroke and sixth in the individual medley.’
      • ‘They both won the four main swimming strokes as well as the 100m freestyle and individual medley.’
      • ‘Kenyon added four victories in relays, taking all but the 200 medley, which was won by Emory.’
      • ‘Michael Phelps' 400 individual medley really took off only after he learned to relax on the first 50.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Alexa Lewis anchored the medley, while Norra Stroh contributed to the 400 free relay.’
      • ‘Swimming World thought her best shot would be in the medley.’
      • ‘Carroll's silver went with the bronze medal she won in the 400m individual medley on night one.’
      • ‘Rose won the 200m butterfly along with the 200m and 400m individual medleys, while finishing third in the 200m backstroke.’
      • ‘There were individual medleys, as well as backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke and freestyle events.’


  • 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.