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melee
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melee


The riot police were able to contain the melee.
  disorganized hand-to-hand combat

or:

a disorganized mass of people — possibly all going different directions and bumping into each other; or rioting
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melee mêlée melees mêlées
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Samples:
  • The riot police were able to contain the melee.
  • I turn to look for her and spot Tristas cutting through the melee, coming straight for me.
    Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes
  • The man with the greasy hair pushed his way out of the melee and stood up, kicking the woman in the ribs as he did so.
    James Dashner  --  The Death Cure
  • The crowd was spinning around her; she barely saw them as she pushed through the melee toward the Blackthorns.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Heavenly Fire

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  • A roar cut through the melee: a booming growl, a noise that might come out of a she-bear protecting a cub.
    James Dashner  --  The Kill Order
  • The screen got cracked in the melee, but the device still works.
    Rick Yancey  --  The Infinite Sea
  • Millard had been grazed by a bullet during our melee at the lighthouse the previous night, and though his recovery so far was remarkable, it was far from complete.
    Ransom Riggs  --  Hollow City
  • The fourth pup appeared and flung himself into the melee with an ecstatic squeal of pleasure.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • Moments later the courtyard erupted into a melee of flung snowballs, scurrying children, and peals of laughter.
    Trenton Lee Stewart  --  The Mysterious Benedict Society
  • The roadway was full of people, and the din of voices and the melee of horses rendered unmanageable by the falling embers was terrible.
    Jim Murphy  --  The Great Fire

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  • He noticed all of these things, and a dozen other melees in progress, but most of his attention was fixed on the enemy before him—Porphyrion, the giant king—and on the god who fought by Jason’s side: Zeus.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Blood of Olympus
  • Little Louise Zamperini, mother of four, was deep in the melee when the cops picked her up for brawling.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • He was just an animal, hurt among the melee of its own kind, soon to be trampled by it.
    Markus Zusak  --  The Book Thief
  • A huge wolf had broken away from the melee and was racing toward her, ears flattened to its narrow head.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Bones
  • There was a melee in the yard.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • His body was tossed and hurled in the stampede like a rag doll, finally rolling to a stop when the melee moved on.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  The Kite Runner
  • Out in the road it was a melee of shoving, strangers touching and shoving at me.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • In the midst of the melee Marija recollected that she did not have her bankbook, and could not get her money anyway, so she fought her way out and started on a run for home.
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • For a long time I was held hypnotized by the thundering herd, then with a cry of resolution exploding from my throat I rushed into the melee.
    Rudolfo Anaya  --  Bless Me, Ultima
  • He strained to see anyone he knew in the melee.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Ashes
  • He emerged from the melee with the scruff of a neck in each hand — Hungry Joe’s neck and the cat’s.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • Four snake-headed giants had retrieved it and were carrying it slowly but steadily through the melee.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Red Pyramid
  • In the evening a wind from the northeast sprang up, and the flakes rushed hither and thither in furious melee.
    Helen Keller  --  Story of My Life
  • Clarisse was with Lee Fletcher from the Apollo cabin-melee and ranged combat combined, they would be a tough combo to beat.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Battle of the Labyrinth
  • There was a melee of screeches, in which the men were ordered to do conflicting and impossible things.
    Stephen Crane  --  The Red Badge of Courage
  • Jaffers was struck under the jaw, and, turning, caught at something that intervened between him and Huxter in the melee, and prevented their coming together.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Invisible Man
  • But Uncas, who had vainly sought him in the melee, bounded forward in pursuit; Hawkeye, Heyward and David still pressing on his footsteps.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • He found Chief O’Rourke standing with a megaphone in the middle of the melee.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • And in the centre of the melee stood a five-metre-tall hovercage, floating on a cushion of air.
    Eoin Colfer  --  Artemis Fowl
  • Caius slithered into the center of the gray melee, and the shocking squealing sound exploded into a startling upward shower of sparks and tongues of flame.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Breaking Dawn
  • The treacherous shot finally causes the anticipated melee to break out late in Book IV.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
  • Beneath them on the floor of the cave swirled a melee of struggling figures.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • I played one group against the other, slipping in and throwing a punch then stepping out of range while pushing the others into the melee to take the blows blindly aimed at me.
    Ralph Ellison  --  Invisible Man
  • "No! Oh, Bonnie, stop!" Even as she leaned from the window there was a fearful sound of splintering wood, a hoarse cry from Rhett, a melee of blue velvet and flying hooves on the ground.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • I rushed up to the melee and tried to pull apart a couple of students on the ground.
    Luis J. Rodriguez  --  Always Running
  • In the melee of men and horses, one horse broke a leg and had to be destroyed, and Tom’s left shoulder was smashed by a flailing hoof.
    Hal Borland  --  When the Legends Die
  • This was chaos, a melee of shouting and movement, and the landscape wasn’t flat but a mass of mud and blood churned into a thick, unstable paste.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Glass
  • "I shall tilt to-morrow" answered Athelstane, "in the ’melee’; it is not worth while for me to arm myself to-day."
    Sir Walter Scott  --  Ivanhoe
  • It was violently disturbing to me even in that melee that I didn’t know whether I could lose consciousness.
    Anne Rice  --  Interview with the Vampire
  • People were liable to be dangerously injured in the melees.
    T. H. White  --  The Once and Future King
  • Sugar nearly trampled Newt, trying to get out of the melee.
    Larry McMurtry  --  Lonesome Dove
  • I hadn’t heard the Voice since the melee in the desert.
    James Patterson  --  Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
  • , despite, Measle, disease, Medled, mingled, Medley, melee, general encounter, Meiny, retinue, Mickle, much, Minever, ermine, Mischieved, hurt, Mischievous, painful, Miscorr fort, discomfort, Miscreature, unbeliever, Missay, revile,; missaid, Mo, more, More and less, rich and poor, Motes, notes on a horn, Mount~ lance, amount of, extent, Much, great, Naked, unarmed, Namely, especially, Ne, nor, Near-hand, nearly,; near, Needly, needs, on your own compulsion, Nesh, soft, tender,…
    Thomas Malory  --  Le Morte D’Arthur, Volume I
  • And the melee was on.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • The unshaven Zhongguo ren then picked up a chair and hurled it into screaming figures near the fallen man, as three other waiters rushed into the melee in defense of their Zongguan.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • Luckily for him, all of the Indians had dropped their rifles in the pursuit, or this retreat might not have been effected with impunity; though no one had noted the canoe in the first confusion of the melee.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
  • "One unfortunate citizen," wrote a reporter, "got in line to buy a win ticket on Patty Cake in the sixth and was considerably bewildered to find himself coming out of the melee at the end of the seventh with a hot dog."
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • , despite, Measle, disease, Medled, mingled, Medley, melee, general encounter, Meiny, retinue, Mickle, much, Minever, ermine, Mischieved, hurt, Mischievous, painful, Miscorr fort, discomfort, Miscreature, unbeliever, Missay, revile,; missaid, Mo, more, More and less, rich and poor, Motes, notes on a horn, Mount~ lance, amount of, extent, Much, great, Naked, unarmed, Namely, especially, Ne, nor, Near-hand, nearly,; near, Needly, needs, on your own compulsion, Nesh, soft, tender,…
    Thomas Malory  --  Le Morte D’Arthur
  • The melee broke up the rhythm of the attack and, by the time the French had regained their initiative, Henry’s own men-at-arms had braced to hold them at pike length while Kassad and several thousand other archers poured volley fire into the massed French infantry at close range.
    Dan Simmons  --  Hyperion
  • …in spite of the tennis on on the beard the flamesthe tears the stones so blue so calm alas alas on on the skull the skull the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the labors abandoned leftunfinished graver still abode of stones in a word I resume alas alas abandonedunfinished the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the skullalas the stones Cunard (mêlée, final vociferations) tennis …. the stones …. so calm …. Cunard …. unfinished …. POZZO: His hat!
    Samuel Beckett  --  Waiting for Godot
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Associated words [difficulty]:   melee [3]
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