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[mey-ley, mey-ley, mel-ey] /ˈmeɪ leɪ, meɪˈleɪ, ˈmɛl eɪ/

a confused hand-to-hand fight or struggle among several people.
confusion; turmoil; jumble:
the melee of Christmas shopping.
[mey-ley, mey-ley] /ˈmeɪ leɪ, meɪˈleɪ/
a group of diamonds, each weighing less than 0.25 carat.
a noisy riotous fight or brawl

1640s, from French mêlée, from Old French meslee “brawl, confused fight; mixture, blend” (12c.), noun use of fem. past participle of mesler “to mix, mingle” (see meddle). See also medley. Borrowed in Middle English as melle but lost and then reborrowed 17c.


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