A mishmash is a random bunch of odds and ends. Many people have a mishmash of things in their basement or garage. A pile of old keys, one sock, four paper clips, and a water bottle? Total mishmash.

Many houses have one kitchen drawer full of a mishmash of pens, rubber bands, carryout menus, and gum, for example. If you write a last-minute research paper, you might wind up with a mishmash of random ideas and opinions. The word was originally spelled with a hyphen, mish-mash, and before that it was mysse-masche, which had to do with mash, as in a bunch of soft food chucked together and fed to pigs. Another word for mishmash is hodgepodge.

Definitions of mishmash
  1. noun
    a motley assortment of things
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week