A melee is a noisy free-for-all or rowdy fight — a no holds barred, battle royal, if you will. It's what pro wrestlers engage in every night, and shoppers endure at the toy store every holiday season.

If you think melee sounds like a fancy French way to say "crazy bar brawl," you're right: It comes from the French mêlée which means "confused fight or mixture.” What makes a melee different than any other fight is that element of chaos or confusion — so don't jump into a brewing melee unless you're really ready to bring the ruckus.

Definitions of melee

n a noisy riotous fight

battle royal, scrimmage
Type of:
the act of disturbing something or someone; setting something in motion

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