A melee is a noisy, confused, and often violent situation, involving a group of people. It can also refer to a hand-to-hand fight or a skirmish.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



brawl, fracas, scuffle, tussle, ruckus, commotion, tumult, pandemonium


calm, peace, order

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun melees, melee
Verb None
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The football match turned into a melee as fans clashed in the stands.

  • The bar fight quickly turned into a melee involving several patrons.

  • The police arrived on the scene just in time to break up the melee before anyone was seriously injured.

  • The demonstration ended in a melee between protesters and the police.


The word “melee” originally comes from the French word “mêlée,” which means “mixture.” It was originally used to describe a mixed group of soldiers engaged in close combat. Nowadays, the word is more commonly used to describe a chaotic or violent situation involving a group of people. A melee typically involves people fighting, shouting, and pushing each other in a confused and disorderly manner.

The word “melee” is often used to describe situations that are out of control, such as riots, brawls, or protests that turn violent. It can also be used to describe less extreme situations, such as a crowded shopping mall or a busy train station during rush hour. In these cases, the word “melee” is used to convey the sense of chaos and confusion that can occur when there are too many people in a small space.

The word “melee” can also be used to describe a physical fight between two or more people, typically involving hand-to-hand combat. In this context, it is often used interchangeably with the words “brawl,” “scuffle,” or “tussle.” However, unlike these words, “melee” implies a more chaotic and disorderly fight, where it is difficult to distinguish one combatant from another.

In summary, “melee” is a versatile word that can be used to describe a variety of chaotic and violent situations involving a group of people. Its origin in military combat gives it a certain martial connotation, but it is now more commonly associated with situations that are out of control or disorderly.