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1. Having elements of great variety or incongruity; heterogeneous: a motley collection of students at the coffee shop.
2. Having many colors; variegated; parti-colored: a motley tunic.
n. pl. mot·leys
1. The parti-colored attire of a court jester.
2. A heterogeneous, often incongruous mixture of elements.
[Middle English motlei, variegated cloth, variegated, probably from Anglo-Norman, probably from Middle English mot, speck; see mote1.]
1. made up of elements of varying type, quality, etc
2. (Colours) multicoloured
3. a motley collection or mixture
4. (Clothing & Fashion) the particoloured attire of a jester
5. (Theatre) obsolete a jester
[C14: perhaps from mot speck, mote1]
adj., n., pl. -leys. adj.
1. exhibiting great diversity of elements; heterogeneous.
2. being of different colors combined; parti-colored.
3. wearing a parti-colored garment: a motley fool.n.
4. a combination of different colors.
5. the parti-colored garment of a jester.
6. a heterogeneous assemblage.
[1350–1400; Middle English; orig. obscure]
John Lothrop, 1814–77, U.S. historian.
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|Noun||1.||motley - a collection containing a variety of sorts of things; "a great assortment of cars was on display"; "he had a variety of disorders"; "a veritable smorgasbord of religions"|
assortment, miscellanea, miscellany, mixed bag, potpourri, salmagundi, smorgasbord, variety, mixture
aggregation, collection, accumulation, assemblage - several things grouped together or considered as a whole
grab bag - an assortment of miscellaneous items
witches' brew, witches' broth, witch's brew - a fearsome mixture; "a witches' brew of gangsters and terrorists"; "mixing dope and alcohol creates a witches' brew"
range - a variety of different things or activities; "he answered a range of questions"; "he was impressed by the range and diversity of the collection"
selection - an assortment of things from which a choice can be made; "the store carried a large selection of shoes"
farrago, gallimaufry, hodgepodge, hotchpotch, melange, mingle-mangle, mishmash, oddments, odds and ends, omnium-gatherum, ragbag - a motley assortment of things
alphabet soup - a confusing assortment; "Roosevelt created an alphabet soup of federal agencies"
sampler - an assortment of various samples; "a candy sampler"; "a sampler of French poets"
|2.||motley - a garment made of motley (especially a court jester's costume)|
garment - an article of clothing; "garments of the finest silk"
motley - a multicolored woolen fabric woven of mixed threads in 14th to 17th century England
|3.||motley - a multicolored woolen fabric woven of mixed threads in 14th to 17th century England|
cloth, fabric, textile, material - artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers; "the fabric in the curtains was light and semitransparent"; "woven cloth originated in Mesopotamia around 5000 BC"; "she measured off enough material for a dress"
motley - a garment made of motley (especially a court jester's costume)
|Verb||1.||motley - make something more diverse and varied; "Vary the menu"|
diversify - make (more) diverse; "diversify a course of study"
|2.||motley - make motley; color with different colors|
|Adj.||1.||motley - consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds; "an arrangement of assorted spring flowers"; "assorted sizes"; "miscellaneous accessories"; "a mixed program of baroque and contemporary music"; "a motley crew"; "sundry sciences commonly known as social"- I.A.Richards|
|2.||motley - having sections or patches colored differently and usually brightly; "a jester dressed in motley"; "the painted desert"; "a particolored dress"; "a piebald horse"; "pied daisies"|
multicolor, multi-color, multicolored, multi-colored, multicolour, multi-colour, multicoloured, multi-coloured, particolored, particoloured, piebald, pied, varicolored, varicoloured, calico, painted
1. Consisting of a number of different kinds:
assorted, divers, diverse, diversified, heterogeneous, miscellaneous, mixed, multifarious, multiform, sundry, varied, variegated, various.