Melee (/ˈmeɪleɪ/ or /ˈmɛleɪ/, French: mêlée [mɛle]) generally
refers to disorganized close combat in battles fought at abnormally
close range with little central control once it starts.
The French term was first used in English in c. 1640 (a re-borrowing
of a lost
Middle English melle, but the Old French
borrowing survives in medley and meddle).
In military aviation, a melee has been described as "[a]n air battle
in which several aircraft, both friend and foe, are confusingly
Lord Nelson described his tactics for the
Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar as
inducing a "pell mell battle" focused on engagements between
individual ships where the superior morale and skill of the Royal Navy
would prevail.[relevant? – discuss]
The destroyer night action of the second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
on November 13, 1942, was so utterly chaotic and the ships were so
intermingled that an officer on the
USS Monssen (DD-436)
USS Monssen (DD-436) later likened
it to "a barroom brawl after the lights had been shot out".
Look up melee or mêlée in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Close quarters combat
Super Smash Bros. Melee
^ a b OED 2015.
^ Kumar, DeRemer & Marshall 2004, p. 462.
^ Fremont-Barnes 2005, p. 38.
^ Frank, Guadalcanal, p. 441.
Fremont-Barnes, Gregory (2005), Trafalgar 1805: Nelson's Crowning
Victory, Osprey Publishing, p. 38 38,
Kumar, Bharat; DeRemer, Dale; Marshall, Douglas (2004), An Illustrated
Dictionary of Aviation, McGraw Hill Professional, p. 462,
"mêlée n.", Oxford English Dictionary (online ed.), Oxford
University Press, March 2015
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