noun \ˈmā-ˌhem, ˈmā-əm\

: actions that hurt people and destroy things : a scene or situation that involves a lot of violence

Full Definition of MAYHEM

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
:  needless or willful damage or violence

Examples of MAYHEM

  1. movies filled with murder and mayhem
  2. a criminal who escaped from prison and caused mayhem

Origin of MAYHEM

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
First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with MAYHEM


noun \ˈmā-ˌhem, ˈmā-əm\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of MAYHEM

: willful and permanent crippling, mutilation, or disfiguring of any part of another's body; also : the crime of engaging in mayhem <physicians, accused…of sterilizing her through trickery, were ordered held for trial on charges of conspiracy to commit mayhemAssociated Press>


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Crime of willfully and permanently crippling, mutilating, or disfiguring any part of another's body. Some jurisdictions do not distinguish between mayhem and other types of battery. Japanese law treats all batteries similarly; Indian law divides bodily harms into “hurts” and “grievous hurts.” In most U.S. states mayhem is encompassed by assault and aggravated assault.


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