1. Consisting of various kinds; varied: a shelf containing miscellaneous objects.
2. Having a variety of characteristics or aspects: a website providing miscellaneous information.
[From Latin miscellāneus, from miscellus, mixed, from miscēre, to mix; see meik- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: miscellaneous, heterogeneous, mixed, varied, assorted
These adjectives mean consisting of a number of different kinds. Miscellaneous implies a varied, often haphazard combination: is selling postcards and miscellaneous novelties. Heterogeneous emphasizes diversity and dissimilarity: a heterogeneous urban population. Mixed suggests a combination of differing but not necessarily conflicting elements: a mixed program of baroque and contemporary music. Varied stresses absence of uniformity: "The assembly was large and varied, containing clergy and laity, men and women" (Nicholas P.S. Wiseman).
Assorted often suggests the purposeful arrangement of different but complementary elements: a pretty arrangement of assorted flowers.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.