a motley crew


      • a group of people with varied backgrounds or characteristics
        Describing a group that is diverse or varied in terms of appearance, experience, or personality

      • an odd or mismatched group
        Describing a group of people that seems unlikely to be together due to their differences or odd qualities

    Examples of a motley crew

    • The ragtag team of engineers, designers, and architects that were hired to remodel the old theater building was a true motley crew. They came from diverse backgrounds, had different styles, and worked in their unique ways. But somehow they managed to pull off the project, even against all odds.

      In this example, "a motley crew" is being used to describe a group of people who are unusually diverse and heterogeneous in terms of skills, backgrounds, and working styles. The term "ragtag" adds to the image of a disorganized and incoherent group coming together for a common purpose.

    • The vibrant and eclectic group of artists that gathered along the riverbank for the annual street art festival was undoubtedly a motley crew. Some were famous contemporary artists, while others were aspiring graffiti writers. They had very different styles and mediums, but all shared a passion for creating art in public spaces.

      In this example, "a motley crew" is being used to describe a group of people who are hugely varied in terms of their artistic styles, mediums, and levels of experience. The term "vibrant and eclectic" adds to the image of a colorful and exciting group.

    • The scruffy and mismatched bunch of pirates that terrorized the high seas were certainly a motley crew. They were a ragtag group of outlaws and misfits who had banded together for plunder and adventure. The captain himself was an old sea dog with missing teeth, a patch over his eye, and a parrot on his shoulder.

      In this example, "a motley crew" is being used in a more traditional context to describe a group of pirates. The term "scruffy and mismatched" adds to the image of a rough and unkempt group, while "old sea dog" further establishes the captain's status as a grizzled veteran of the high seas.

    • The successful and diverse team of scientists working on the latest medical breakthrough came together as a motley crew. They represented a range of disciplines, from chemistry to psychology, and were drawn together by their shared passion for advancing healthcare.

      In this example, "a motley crew" is being used in a more contemporary context to describe a group of scientists. The term "successful and diverse" adds to the image of a group of highly skilled and experienced individuals drawn together by their shared expertise and vision.

    • The project team consisted of a motley crew of engineers, designers, and programmers from different parts of the world.

      A group of people with diverse backgrounds, skills, and preferences working together on a project is called a motley crew. The word 'motley' here refers to something that is made up of different pieces of various colours and patterns. This idiom is used to describe an unusual and heterogeneous group that may have difficulties working together.

    • The director assembled a motley crew of actors for the low-budget movie.

      When a group of people who do not have a particular qualification or reputation is chosen for a task, they can be described as a motley crew. In this example, a team of actors who lacked experience or recognition was assembled for a movie with limited resources.

    • The small boat that sailed through the rough sea was manned by a motley crew of fishermen.

      A group of people who work together on a ship or a boat can be described as a crew. In this sentence, a group of fishermen working on a small boat during rough weather is described as a motley crew.

    • The audience at the small music venue was made up of a motley crew of music enthusiasts.

      The term 'motley crew' can be used to describe a group of people who have gathered somewhere for a specific reason. In this example, a varied group of music lovers gathered at a small music venue to enjoy live music.


    The idiom "a motley crew" is often used to describe a group of people who are diverse in terms of their backgrounds, characteristics, or appearances. It can also be used to describe a group that seems odd or mismatched due to their differences. This phrase is often used in a lighthearted or humorous manner to acknowledge the variety within a group.

    The idiom can be used in various contexts, such as when describing a team of coworkers, a group of friends, or even a gathering of strangers. It emphasizes the unique qualities and differences among the individuals in the group, and can also imply a sense of unpredictability or unexpectedness.

    Overall, "a motley crew" is a colorful and expressive way to highlight the diversity or oddness of a particular group of people, and is commonly used in informal conversation.

    Origin of "a motley crew"

    The origin of the idiom "a motley crew" can be traced back to the 16th century, with "motley" referring to a multi-colored fabric used in clothing during that time. The phrase "motley crew" was originally used in a literal sense to describe a group of individuals dressed in a variety of colors and patterns, often in a mismatched or haphazard manner.

    Over time, the idiom evolved to take on a more figurative meaning, referring to a group of people with diverse or mismatched characteristics. It has been popularized in literature and has become a common expression in the English language. The idiom continues to be used today to convey the idea of a diverse or odd group of individuals.