Definition of pell-mell in English:


Pronunciation /pelˈmel/ /pɛlˈmɛl/

See synonyms for pell-mell

Translate pell-mell into Spanish


  • In a confused, rushed, or disorderly manner.

    ‘the contents of the sacks were thrown pell-mell to the ground’
    • ‘Bernard embarked on pell-mell international expansion, building strong operations across the rest of Europe, Asia and Latin America.’
    • ‘Behind the marked turnaround: pell-mell economic growth, an ultra-easy monetary policy, and a bank lending boom.’
    • ‘Even groups that we have admired are now in pell-mell cowardly retreat.’
    • ‘His cuirassiers plunged into the thick of the fray at once, driving the Swedes pell-mell back across the ditch and road.’
    • ‘She ran down the stairs, chasing the rat with a marble pell-mell.’
    helter-skelter, headlong, full tilt, at full tilt, hotfoot, post-haste, hurriedly, hastily
    in disorder, in confusion, in a jumble, in a muddle, in disarray, in a disorganized manner, untidily, in a mess, in a heap, anyhow
    View synonyms


  • Recklessly hasty or disorganized; headlong.

    ‘steering the pell-mell development of Europe onto a new and more gradual course’
    • ‘Unrelenting tosh, it mixes dodgy accents with over-ripe dialogue, hammy performances and the kind of pell-mell pace that leaves little room for subtlety or reflection.’
    • ‘What's been largely missing, though, through these pell-mell days, has been the time to rethink pat agendas rather than fit the facts around them - or the imagination to give the suckers on all sides an even break.’
    • ‘Thus, for decades, corporations and individuals have bored deep into fossil water, which is not replenishable - a pell-mell water mining that has left what remains as brackish as the sea.’
    • ‘Obviously, it shouldn't be a deadline which forces us to leave rapidly, in a pell-mell fashion.’
    • ‘With so much at stake, too, the tendency is always to launch into pell-mell play, all motion and little notion.’
    • ‘To fans in the stands or on television, the two racecars appear to be in a flat-out, pell-mell charge to the finish line.’
    • ‘U.S. companies continue a pell-mell rush into offshore outsourcing of software development.’
    • ‘We are not going to do a pell-mell rush into the city.’
    • ‘Friday was a perfect example of the pell-mell rush of these days.’
    • ‘An article providing for a one-year grace period was not debated in the pell-mell final day of the legislative session.’


in singular
  • A state of affairs or collection of things characterized by haste or confusion.

    ‘the pell-mell of ascending gables and roof tiles’
    • ‘The clowns are delivering their aid in the most personal way, with not just a joke and a smile, but hugs and tears and the pell-mell of circus-like performances.’
    • ‘Yet stealthily he has displayed a tactical nous in Europe even if the pell-mell of the Premiership, especially away from home, remains a mystery to his enigmatic and infuriating charges.’
    • ‘It may be a pell-mell of words but feelings should make a piece worth reading.’
    • ‘They drew together, uttering frightened exclamations; and the lights flashed as the others came pouring out of the cemetery pell-mell, like men possessed.’
    • ‘We have never known the euphoria of riding across country on a crisp winter's morning, summoned the bravery to fly pell-mell over hedges and ditches or experienced the extraordinary exhilaration of feeling at one with a horse.’
    • ‘An entire generation of backs are growing up thinking that rugby is about nothing more than running pell-mell into bodies when, if the laws were properly upheld, they would have the luxury of space that comes with quick ball.’
    • ‘A dozen horseman galloped pell-mell to within a few yards of where I was sitting, simultaneously checking their horses, turning their horses on a sixpence, in order to deliver a volley of rifle fire.’
    • ‘But these last two points are faults of the plays, not the production, which at its best is a breathlessly pell-mell, swaggeringly epic dose of theatre.’
    • ‘The rest of us are riding pell-mell in the other direction.’
    • ‘The forwards spent most of the match running pell-mell into each other and then cheating like crazy at the breakdown.’
    • ‘A government, driven pell-mell by a media agenda, shooting first and asking questions later.’
    • ‘When we first see him he is running pell-mell through the streets of Edinburgh before he is cornered.’
    • ‘They both then rushed pell-mell to the doctor, carrying dead snake and severed thumb, and Henry laughed very heartily and unsympathetically because, as it happened, the snake was a non-poisonous variety.’
    • ‘Sometimes it's handy to zoom in and select specific units but it's probably easier to learn the shortcut keys and create groups of units before running pell-mell into the opposition.’
    • ‘A red rope separates about 30 of us from the groaning, pressing mass of humanity that's about to charge pell-mell into the freezing San Francisco Bay.’
    • ‘But it surprised us all nevertheless, and there was a mad rush as humans, Elves, Gnomes, and what have you scampered pell-mell to their cabins.’
    • ‘Originally it was published with drawings and a surrealistic text to be read pell-mell over sometimes very loud music, not performed on the disc.’
    • ‘We are hunting venison, not hurtling pell-mell to our deaths!’
    • ‘Turning back toward the door and shouting thanks over my shoulder, I ran pell-mell onto the busy city sidewalk.’
    • ‘Everything's gone pell-mell!’
    bedlam, mayhem, chaos, pandemonium, babel, uproar, turmoil, wild disarray, disorder, hurly-burly
    View synonyms


Late 16th century from French pêle-mêle, from earlier pesle mesle, mesle pesle, reduplication from mesler ‘to mix’.