Definition of pell-mell in English:


Line breaks: pell-mell
Pronunciation: /pɛlˈmɛl



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  • Hasty or disorganized: steps to slow the pell-mell pace of deforestation
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    • Unrelenting tosh, it mixes dodgy accents with over-ripe dialogue, hammy performances and the kind of pell-mell pace that leaves little room for subtlety or reflection.
    • What's been largely missing, though, through these pell-mell days, has been the time to rethink pat agendas rather than fit the facts around them - or the imagination to give the suckers on all sides an even break.
    • Thus, for decades, corporations and individuals have bored deep into fossil water, which is not replenishable - a pell-mell water mining that has left what remains as brackish as the sea.


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  • A disorderly situation or collection of things: the pell-mell of ascending gables and roof tiles
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    • The clowns are delivering their aid in the most personal way, with not just a joke and a smile, but hugs and tears and the pell-mell of circus-like performances.
    • Yet stealthily he has displayed a tactical nous in Europe even if the pell-mell of the Premiership, especially away from home, remains a mystery to his enigmatic and infuriating charges.
    • It may be a pell-mell of words but feelings should make a piece worth reading.


late 16th century: from French pêle-mêle, from earlier pesle mesle, mesle pesle, reduplication from mesler 'to mix'.

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