Melee is a noun that means a confused fight or struggle.
Melee comes from the Latin word misceo (mish AY oh) which means a mix or a blend or various elements. You can think of a melee as an awkward mix of people engaged in a struggle or fight.
What started as an ordinary line in front of the retail store soon turned into a melee. The store owners admitted it may have been a mistake to announce a half-price off sale with such a large crowd waiting.