Definition of miscellany in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmisəˌlānē/
Pronunciation: /miˈselənē/

noun (plural miscellanies)

1A group or collection of different items; a mixture: Talkeetna was a random miscellany of log cabins
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
1.1A book containing a collection of pieces of writing by different authors.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • This project is producing a database guide to about 400 manuscript miscellanies and commonplace books by British women from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
  • 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.


Late 16th century: from French miscellanées (feminine plural), from Latin miscellanea (see miscellanea).

  • This goes back to the Latin miscellus mixed from miscere ‘mix’ ( see mash). This also lies behind promiscuous (early 17th century). Its early sense was ‘consisting of elements mixed together’, giving rise to ‘indiscriminate’, and ‘undiscriminating’, from which the notion of ‘casual’ arose.

Words that rhyme with miscellany

felony, Melanie

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mis·cel·la·ny

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