[mey-hem, mey-uhm]
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.
random or deliberate violence or damage.
a state of rowdy disorder: Antagonisms between the various factions at the meeting finally boiled over, and mayhem ensued.

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). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mayhem or maihem (ˈmeɪhɛm)
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
[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
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Word Origin & History

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
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Example sentences
We should be putting down the toys, and getting to work at stopping the mayhem and chaos in our society and the world.
Mayhem is always in the mix in the morning news, but today it's downright
Remember that the current market mayhem may mean you will be buying low.
Even after the mayhem began, the authorities' response was slow.
Related Words
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