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[meym] /meɪm/
verb (used with object)
to deprive of the use of some part of the body by wounding or the like; cripple:
The explosion maimed him for life.
to impair; make essentially defective:
The essay was maimed by deletion of important paragraphs.
noun, Obsolete
a physical injury, especially a loss of a limb.
an injury or defect; blemish; lack.
Origin of maim
1250-1300; Middle English mayme, variant of mahayme mayhem
Related forms
maimedness, noun
maimer, noun
remaim, verb (used with object)
self-maimed, adjective
unmaimed, adjective
Can be confused
maim, mayhem (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. Maim, lacerate, mangle, mutilate indicate the infliction of painful and severe injuries on the body. To maim is to injure by giving a disabling wound, or by depriving a person of one or more members or their use: maimed in an accident. To lacerate is to inflict severe cuts and tears on the flesh or skin: to lacerate an arm. To mangle is to chop undiscriminatingly or to crush or rend by blows or pressure, as if by machinery: bodies mangled in a train wreck. To mutilate is to injure the completeness or beauty of a body, especially by cutting off an important member: to mutilate a statue, a tree, a person. 2. injure, disable, deface, mar. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for maiming
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He despised the thought of guns, despised the military trains, despised the war, the blood and maiming;—he despised himself.

  • As to whether they were killing or maiming Caradoc's crew, Madden could not tell.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • If we see him maiming, or in any way maltreating another man's cattle, we may increase the severity of our rebuke.

    Thoughts on African Colonization William Lloyd Garrison
  • After supper Ted told of the maiming of the cattle and the death of Sol Flatbush.

    Ted Strong in Montana Edward C. Taylor
  • One has a notion of a maiming, crippling process; of the individual coming back damaged in some subtle way.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • What reproach--what evil augury--nay, perhaps, what maiming of our enterprise!

    Sir Mortimer Mary Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for maiming


verb (transitive)
to mutilate, cripple, or disable a part of the body of (a person or animal)
to make defective
(obsolete) an injury or defect
Derived Forms
maimedness (ˈmeɪmɪdnɪs) noun
maimer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French mahaignier to wound, probably of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for maiming



c.1300, maimen, from Old French mahaignier "injure, wound, muitilate, cripple, disarm," possibly from Vulgar Latin *mahanare (cf. Provençal mayanhar, Italian magagnare), of unknown origin; or possibly from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *mait- (cf. Old Norse meiða "to hurt," related to mad (adj.)), or from PIE root *mai- "to cut." Related: Maimed; maiming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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