c. 1300, "hand-to-hand combat, war, battle," a sense now obsolete, from Old French medlee, variant of meslee, from mesler "to mix, mingle, meddle" (see meddle). From mid-14c. as "cloth made of wools dyed and mingled before being spun," whether of one color or many, but especially pied cloth. The general meaning "a combination, a mixture" is from c. 1400; that of "musical composition or entertainment consisting of diverse parts from different sources" is from 1620s.
updated on December 15, 2018
Dictionary entries near medley