Definition of pell-mell in English:


Syllabification: pell-mell
Pronunciation: /ˌpel ˈmel


  • In a confused, rushed, or disorderly manner: the contents of the sacks were thrown pell-mell to the ground
    More example sentences
    • Bernard embarked on pell-mell international expansion, building strong operations across the rest of Europe, Asia and Latin America.
    • Behind the marked turnaround: pell-mell economic growth, an ultra-easy monetary policy, and a bank lending boom.
    • Even groups that we have admired are now in pell-mell cowardly retreat.
    helter-skelter, headlong, (at) full tilt, hotfoot, posthaste, hurriedly, hastily, recklessly, precipitatelyuntidily, anyhow, in disarray, in a mess, in a muddle
    informal all over the place, every which way, any old how, all over the map, all over the lot


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  • Recklessly hasty or disorganized; headlong: steering the pell-mell development of Europe onto a new and more gradual course
    More example sentences
    • 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.


[in singular] Back to top  
  • A state of affairs or collection of things characterized by haste or confusion: the pell-mell of ascending gables and roof tiles
    More example sentences
    • 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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Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody