- a confused hand-to-hand fight or struggle among several people.
- confusion; turmoil; jumble: the melee of Christmas shopping.
- a group of diamonds, each weighing less than 0.25 carat.
- a noisy riotous fight or brawl
n.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.