: a mixture often of incongruous elements
a mélange of architectural styles

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Mélange got mixed into the melting pot of English back in the 1600s. It derives from the Middle French verb mesler, which means "to mix." "Mélange" is actually one of several French contributions to the English body of words for miscellaneous mixtures. "Pastiche" (meaning "a composition made up of selections of different works," or broadly, "a disorderly mixture, hodgepodge") is borrowed from French, and "medley" and "potpourri" have roots in French, too. There's also the lesser known "gallimaufry" (meaning "hodgepodge"), which comes from the Middle French galimafree (meaning "stew").

Examples of mélange in a Sentence

a mélange of colors and shapes a mélange of architectural styles
Recent Examples on the Web The soundtrack is a synth-heavy melange that can be ambient or anthemic, intimate in its excavation of inner feelings or defiantly declarative, at times leaning into rap. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 May 2024 In the novels – and Denis Villeneuve's movies – the Atreides move to Arrakis to take over production of the valuable fictional spice melange that drives commerce, and also war. Eric Lagatta, USA TODAY, 4 May 2024 Billed as a cultural celebration of Los Angeles, Everybody’s In L.A. intersperses field pieces with Mulaney’s unique brand of standup, a melange of observational humor and fey self-deprecation. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 4 May 2024 The infatuation between Ponyboy and Cherry (Emma Pittman), which produces a couple of serviceable duets, feels perfunctory and fades into a melange of other conflicts. Naveen Kumar, Variety, 12 Apr. 2024 In Dune: Part Two, in theaters March 1, Chani helps teach Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) the ways of her people: how to eat food laced with the spice melange, how to fight with a crysknife, how to ride a sandworm. Christian Holub, EW.com, 21 Feb. 2024 Through their lessons, Paul sees the planet as more than a place from which to extract the psychotropic melange known as Spice. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Feb. 2024 The flashbacks are rendered as a dreamy, nostalgic trip — an abstract melange of green foliage, flashes of calming smiles and the pages of a picture book being turned. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Mar. 2024 One is the spice melange, which can psychedelically expand one's mind and allow navigators from the Spacing Guild to chart spaceship routes over long distances without crashing into each other. Christian Holub, EW.com, 2 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mélange.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French, "act of mixing, mixture," going back to Middle French meslinges, meslanges (plural), from mesler, meler "to mix" + -ange, deverbal action noun suffix (as in Old French loange "praise," vuidange "emptying, outlet"), borrowed from Old Low Franconian *-inga-, *-unga-, going back to Germanic *-ingō, *-ungō — more at meddle, -ing entry 1

First Known Use

1653, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mélange was in 1653


Dictionary Entries Near mélange

Cite this Entry

“Mélange.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/m%C3%A9lange. Accessed 3 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


mé·​lange mā-ˈlänzh How to pronounce mélange (audio) -ˈlänj How to pronounce mélange (audio)
: a mixture often of dissimilar elements
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