mayhem
noun Etymology: Middle English mayme, mahaime, from Anglo-French mahaim mutilation, mayhem, from maheimer, mahaigner to maim, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Middle High German meiden gelding, Old Norse meitha to injure Date: 15th century 1. a. willful and permanent deprivation of a bodily member resulting in the impairment of a person's fighting ability b. willful and permanent crippling, mutilation, or disfigurement of any part of the body 2. needless or willful damage or violence

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • mayhem — may·hem / mā ˌhem, əm/ n [Anglo French mahaim mahain, literally, mutilation, from Old French mahain, from mahaignier to injure, mutilate]: willful and permanent crippling, mutilation, or disfigurement of any part of another s body; also: the… …   Law dictionary

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  • mayhem — may hem, n. [The same as maim. See {Maim}.] 1. (Law) 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}. [1913 Webster] 2. Violent disorder, especially such as… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mayhem — (n.) late 15c., from Anglo Fr. maihem (13c.), from O.Fr. mahaigne injury, wrong, a hurt, harm, damage; related to mahaignier to injure, wound, mutilate, cripple (see MAIM (Cf. maim)). Originally, in law, the crime of maiming a person to make him… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • mayhem — ► NOUN ▪ violent disorder; chaos. ORIGIN originally meaning «the crime of maliciously injuring someone»: from Old French, related to MAIM(Cf. ↑maim) …   English terms dictionary

  • mayhem — [mā′hem, mā′əm] n. [see MAIM] 1. Law the offense of maiming a person; specif., a) the intentional mutilation of another s body b) injury inflicted on another so as to cause loss of a bodily part or function necessary for self defense 2. any… …   English World dictionary

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