EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Originally used to refer to the crews of 17th- and 18th-century ships, which contained men of many different nationalities.

NounEdit

motley crew (plural motley crews)

  1. A group of people of mixed background, especially one with a common goal.

QuotationsEdit

  • 1830 John Carne - Recollections of Travels in the East: Forming a Continuation of the Letters from the East
    Away they marched from the rocky region and miserable village where they were posted, a motley crew of Christians and Infidels, Catholics, Greeks, and adorers of the Prophet, all mingled together, to go and attack the holy city . . .