Definition of medley in English:
noun (plural medleys)
- 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.
- His hot climate allows peaches with a low chill requirement to develop a medley of complex flavors.
- Thick, juicy cod fillets are steamed over water that is intensely flavoured with a medley of spices, fresh herbs and aromatics.
- This group of 20 singers have been together for five years and will perform a medley of Christmas songs and classical pieces.
- 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.
- I used to swim medleys at national age groups but I concentrated more on freestyle as I got older.
- 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.
adjectivearchaic Back to top
verb (past and past participle medleyed or medlied)[with object] archaic Back to top
A medley was originally a fight, and is the same word as melee (mid 16th century), ‘a confused fight or scuffle’. The source is French, and goes back to Latin misculare ‘to mix’, the source of mix ( see mash) and related to meddle (Middle English). The mixing and mingling of combatants in hand-to-hand fighting led to medley having a variety of uses that involve a mixture of parts. It was applied to a collection of songs or tunes performed as a continuous piece in the 17th century, and the swimming event with each part involving a different stroke appeared in the 1920s.
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