noun: a mixture often of incongruous elements
We encountered a mélange of architectural styles as we strolled through the neighborhood.
“Crisp and white as a chef’s toque, the newest artwork at the Culinary Institute of America made its debut last month as the perfect backdrop for commencement snapshots. Graduates and family members almost instinctively posed before the mural, a sculptural mélange of food-related words and objects.”— From an article by David W. Dunlap in the New York Times, April 15, 2014
Did you know?
“Mélange” was added to the mixture 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”).