Definition of miscellany in English:



  • 1A group or collection of different items; a mixture.

    ‘Talkeetna was a random miscellany of log cabins’
    • ‘What is the understanding in Western Australia as to the relationship between Chapter V of the Criminal Code and the creation of offences in all sorts of other statutes dealing with a wide miscellany of things?’
    • ‘Judgments of such a kind may serve as good examples to the community at large, but of what use are they to a thirty-year-old man with his own miscellany of desires, dreams and idiosyncrasies?’
    • ‘But, though it should happen that an author is capable of excelling, yet his merit may pass without notice, huddled in the variety of things, and thrown into the general miscellany of life.’
    • ‘The coming to light of a miscellany of my father's student-day notes was incentive to prepare this collection.’
    • ‘Over the intervening years it again reverted to a market selling a miscellany of goods as it had done in its heyday.’
    • ‘It includes a great miscellany of individuals.’
    • ‘So the word ‘dog’ covers such a miscellany of different things that we must be very careful there, and I sensed a confusion growing up amongst us.’
    • ‘Toward evening, the sidewalks, especially those in the vicinity of high buildings, were packed with bamboo reclining chairs, stools and a miscellany of makeshift sitting devices such as biscuit tins and blocks of wood.’
    • ‘A notable omission from this miscellany of singers is of course, the castrato.’
    • ‘Why would you not construe it that way knowing that there is a miscellany of arrangements in the States?’
    • ‘To gain access to the car park itself one has to traverse a miscellany of surfaces grass verge, lightweight kerbing and footpath and then, would you believe, one is confronted by two sets of sleeping policemen within yards of one another.’
    • ‘By tradition, an incumbent prime minister - when time comes for re-election - faces a miscellany of Monster Raving Loonies and hapless candidates from the other major parties.’
    • ‘English law already contains a miscellany of threats offences, but there has never been a general strategy on threats.’
    • ‘The 1957 Act made a miscellany of changes of the law of homicide which can hardly be described as amounting to a coherent and interlocking scheme.’
    • ‘Food was prepared by a miscellany of club members.’
    • ‘Curry House serves about 14 kinds of curry using a miscellany of ingredients, among them chicken, pork, beef and peeled shrimp.’
    • ‘He lifted his gaze from the communications device, glancing around the room at the miscellany of alien machines.’
    • ‘Blogs now cover a miscellany of culinary topics, sometimes only tangentially related to food.’
    • ‘The programmes were a miscellany of serious sociology and downright mindless entertainment with the usual film fare thrown in for good measure.’
    • ‘Next comes a corridor where a miscellany of drawings, a small but exquisite textile and two engraved gems, one of Lorenzo the Magnificent and one of Savonarola, are displayed.’
    assortment, mixture, melange, blend, variety, mixed bag, mix, medley, 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
    gallimaufry, omnium gatherum, olio, salmagundi, macédoine
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    1. 1.1A book containing a collection of pieces of writing by different authors.
      • ‘Also apparent is an ancestral link with Elizabethan miscellanies like Tottel's Songs and Sonnettes and The Paradyse of Daynty Deuises.’
      • ‘At the other end were the poetical miscellanies compiled for pleasure, which were filled with an apparently random collection of poetry.’
      • ‘Hicks was the compiler of at least three printed miscellanies, and this collection of prose anecdotes - a sort of prompt book for budding wits - hovers at the edges of texts like The Academy of Complements.’
      • ‘While it would certainly be wrong to propose a unity of purpose, or to simply conflate the interests of readers and compilers, printed miscellanies do consistently place themselves amid the tradition of self-education.’
      • ‘Plays for the public theatres (with Shakespeare's predominant) were widely quoted in poetic miscellanies and commonplace books starting in the 1590s, for instance, in company with the brightest literary lights of the day.’
      • ‘He edited Within Our Province, a miscellany of Ulster writing.’
      • ‘The Horizon was clearly intended to be a miscellany with a particular emphasis upon the foibles and strengths of the press.’
      • ‘Printed miscellanies were not held in careful reverence - witness the torn pages, the splashes of ink, the thumbed texts.’
      • ‘Herrick's poetry was widely appreciated, appeared in miscellanies, and was set to music.’
      • ‘This project is producing a database guide to about 400 manuscript miscellanies and commonplace books by British women from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.’
      • ‘A sports miscellany is supposedly in the works.’
      • ‘Founded in Philadelphia in 1801 and issued weekly until 1809, Port Folio served up a miscellany of original and reprinted essays under the direction of Joseph Dennie.’
      • ‘What emerges is a picture of a culture that relied on the grammatical, rhetorical, and prosodic tools that can be found in surviving early medieval miscellanies.’
      • ‘To underscore this new emphasis, Botkin published a series of regional miscellanies under the name Folk-Say beginning in 1929.’
      • ‘These tables of poets imply an alternative literary canon of writers popular in seventeenth-century miscellanies, and it is worth contrasting these names with those most widely read today.’
      • ‘And this was the case with printed miscellanies, where bawdy verse was a favorite.’
      • ‘But it is on these three fronts - readership, the politics of these books, and their textual significance - that printed miscellanies have most to offer.’
      • ‘Here, then, the numbering of stanzas enables easy textual manipulation: readers of printed miscellanies might well have marked their texts with the same motives in mind, restructuring the printed text; making it their own.’
      • ‘Thus it is worth considering the number of different miscellanies in which a poet's work appears.’
      • ‘Thus we note that when miscellanies print poems popular in manuscript collections, they reflect the volatility that sometimes - but not always - characterized that medium.’
      collection, selection, compendium, treasury, compilation, pot-pourri
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Late 16th century: from French miscellanées (feminine plural), from Latin miscellanea (see miscellanea).