Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To injure, disable, or disfigure, usually by depriving of the use of a limb or other part of the body. synonym: mangle.
  • transitive verb To make imperfect or defective; impair.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To disable by wounding or mutilation; deprive of, or of the use of, a necessary constituent part, as of the body, or, figuratively, of anything; in old law, to deprive of the use of a limb, so as to render a person less able to defend himself in fighting, or to annoy his adversary; mutilate. See mayhem.
  • Synonyms Mangle, etc. See mutilate.
  • noun A disabling wound or mutilation: the deprivation of a necessary part, or of the use of it, as a limb; a crippling, or that which cripples; in old law, deprivation by injury or removal of the use of some member serviceable in fight or for self-protection.
  • noun See the quotation, and mayhem.
  • noun A hurt or wound in general; an injury.
  • noun A defect or blemish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To deprive of the use of a limb, so as to render a person in fighting less able either to defend himself or to annoy his adversary.
  • transitive verb To mutilate; to cripple; to injure; to disable; to impair.
  • noun The privation of the use of a limb or member of the body, by which one is rendered less able to defend himself or to annoy his adversary.
  • noun The privation of any necessary part; a crippling; mutilation; injury; deprivation of something essential. See Mayhem.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To wound seriously; to cause permanent loss of function of a limb or part of the body.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb injure or wound seriously and leave permanent disfiguration or mutilation

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English maimen, from Old French mahaignier; see mayhem.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English maymen, mahaymen, from Anglo-Norman maheimer, mahaigner; see mayhem.

Examples

  • In dissent, Justice Samuel Alito said that the court's ruling would frustrate congressional intent and "maim" a law that was enacted as an important defense against organized criminal enterprises.

    Justices Rule for Defendants

  • What but butchery by piecemeal can, under such circumstances, be expected from a man brutal enough at first to 'maim' and 'disable' him, and now exasperated by being obliged to pay his full value to the master, and to have, in addition, the daily care and expense of his maintenance.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 3 of 4

  • What but butchery by piecemeal can, under such circumstances, be expected from a man brutal enough at first to 'maim' and 'disable' him, and now exasperated by being obliged to pay his full value to the master, and to have, in addition, the daily care and expense of his maintenance.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • Page 146 enough at first to 'maim' and 'disable' him, and now exasperated by being obliged to pay his full value to the master, and to have, in addition, the daily care and expense of his maintenance.

    American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses

  • Caplan has said that the only possible justification for allowing someone to decide to "maim" themselves is if "the donor chooses to undergo the harm of surgery solely to help another."

    Salon

  • Caplan has said that the only possible justification for allowing someone to decide to "maim" themselves is if "the donor chooses to undergo the harm of surgery solely to help another."

    Salon

  • Caplan has said that the only possible justification for allowing someone to decide to "maim" themselves is if "the donor chooses to undergo the harm of surgery solely to help another."

    Salon

  • The prudent course is to avoid giving Islamofascists an excuse to kill or maim them.

    Television

  • Glenn is more like the snake oil salesman who asks for a pretty young volunteer, only to maim them for life with his product.

    Think Progress » The Right-Wing Backlash Against Glenn Beck: Stop Being A ‘Clown’ Who’s Trying To Divide Conservatives

  • Did you know that poorly-performed cover tunes kill or maim more people each year than drunken drivers?

    Entrenched and depressing.

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