Definition of melee :
1. A cavalry exercise in which two groups of riders try to cut paper plumes off the helmets of their opponents, the contest continuing until no member of one group retains his plume; - sometimes called Balaklava melee.
2. A fight in which the combatants are mingled in one confused mass; a hand to hand conflict; an affray.
- The race was all Flamingo's own, and the mob was going wild, when all of a sudden a woman- the widow of a racing- man gone suddenly mad- rushed out in front of the horse, snatched at its bridle with a shrill cry and down she came, and down Flamingo and the jockey came, a melee of crushed humanity. - "You Never Know Your Luck, Complete Being The Story Of A Matrimonial Deserter", Gilbert Parker Last Updated: March 14, 2009.
- Disentangling himself from the melee, he put spurs to his horse, and the noble animal, bleeding from a severe wound across the back, outstripped all his pursuers except one, who stayed him by seizing the bridle. - "History-of-the-Conquest-of-Peru-with-a-preliminary-view-of-the-civilization-of-the-Incas", Prescott, William Hickling.
- A second at once seized it, the third came up, and a tremendous melee ensued, during which the body of the deer was riven into pieces, and lions and carrion seemed rolling about in one heap. - "The Ruined Cities of Zululand", Hugh Mulleneux Walmsley.