may-hem

mayhem

[mey-hem, mey-uhm]
noun
1.
Law. the crime of willfully inflicting a bodily injury on another so as to make the victim less capable of self-defense or, under modern statutes, so as to cripple or mutilate the victim.
2.
random or deliberate violence or damage.
3.
a state of rowdy disorder: Antagonisms between the various factions at the meeting finally boiled over, and mayhem ensued.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English maheym, maim < Anglo-French mahe(i)m, mahaim < Germanic; akin to Middle High German meidem gelding, Old Norse meitha to injure. See maim

maim, mayhem (see synonym study at maim).
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To may-hem
Collins
World English Dictionary
mayhem or maihem (ˈmeɪhɛm)
 
n
1.  law the wilful and unlawful infliction of injury upon a person, esp (formerly) the injuring or removing of a limb rendering him less capable of defending himself against attack
2.  any violent destruction or confusion
 
[C15: from Anglo-French mahem injury, from Germanic; related to Icelandic meitha to hurt. See maim]
 
maihem or maihem
 
n
 
[C15: from Anglo-French mahem injury, from Germanic; related to Icelandic meitha to hurt. See maim]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mayhem
1472, from Anglo-Fr. maihem (13c.), from O.Fr. mahaigne "injury," related to mahaignier "to maim" (see maim). Originally, in law, the crime of maiming a person to make him less able to defend himself or annoy his adversary.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature