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 ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.