from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Law The offense of willfully maiming or crippling a person.
- n. Infliction of violent injury on a person or thing; wanton destruction: children committing mayhem in the flower beds.
- n. A state of violent disorder or riotous confusion; havoc.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A state or situation of great confusion, disorder, trouble or destruction; chaos.
- n. Infliction of violent injury on a person or thing.
- n. The maiming of a person by depriving him of the use of any of his limbs which are necessary for defense or protection.
- n. The crime of damaging things or harming people on purpose.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The maiming of a person by depriving him of the use of any of his members which are necessary for defense or protection. See maim.
- n. Violent disorder, especially such as causes serious harm to persons or damage to property.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. At common law, a crime consisting in the violent doing of a bodily hurt to another person, such as renders him less able in fighting either to defend himself or to annoy his adversary, as distinguished from one which merely disfigures. See maim.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. violent and needless disturbance
- n. the willful and unlawful crippling or mutilation of another person
Middle English maim, mayhem, from Anglo-Norman maihem, from Old French mahaigne, injury, from mahaignier, to maim, from Vulgar Latin *mahanāre, probably of Germanic origin.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English mayme, mahaime, from Anglo-Norman mahaim ("mutilation"), from Old French mahaign ("bodily harm, loss of limb"), from Germanic, from Proto-Germanic *maidijanan (“to cripple, injure”) (compare Middle High German meidem, meiden 'gelding', Old Norse meiða 'to injure', Gothic 𐌼𐌰𐌹𐌳𐌾𐌰𐌽 maidjan 'to alter, falsify'), from Proto-Indo-European *mei (“to change”). More at mad. The original meaning referred to the crime of maiming, the other senses derived from this. (Wiktionary)