\ ˈmām \
maimed; maiming; maims

Definition of maim

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to commit the felony of mayhem upon
2 : to mutilate, disfigure, or wound seriously



Definition of maim (Entry 2 of 2)

1 obsolete : serious physical injury especially : loss of a member of the body
2 obsolete : a serious loss

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from maim


maimer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for maim


maim, cripple, mutilate, batter, mangle mean to injure so severely as to cause lasting damage. maim implies the loss or injury of a bodily member through violence. maimed by a shark cripple implies the loss or serious impairment of an arm or leg. crippled for life in an accident mutilate implies the cutting off or removal of an essential part of a person or thing thereby impairing its completeness, beauty, or function. a tree mutilated by inept pruning batter implies a series of blows that bruise deeply, deform, or mutilate. an old ship battered by fierce storms mangle implies a tearing or crushing that leaves deep wounds. a soldier's leg mangled by shrapnel

Examples of maim in a Sentence


The bomb killed 16 people and maimed several others. on-the-job accidents maim far too many workers every year

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Both then and now, programs such as EERE and ARPA-E are just too popular among Democrats and enough Republicans in Congress to be maimed or killed. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Trump did more for 'clean coal' in one week than in all of 2017," 13 Feb. 2018 And this is to ignore the maimed, the shellshocked and the devastated—all those walking casualties who, when straying into the fiction of the 1920s, are instantly recognizable by their detachment from the social life that oozes on around them. D.j. Taylor, WSJ, "‘Wasteland’ Review: Ghosts of the Great War," 18 Jan. 2019 The opposite sides proceed in lockstep until nature intervenes: A tiger from the DMZ (accompanied by some mystical humanoid figures and an ominous mist) maims a solider on either side. Sharon Mizota,, "Review: At the Korean DMZ, reunification through one artist's strange lens," 7 July 2018 Photographs show how easily we are reduced to the merely physical, which is to say how easily the body can be maimed, starved, splintered, beaten, burnt, torn and crushed. New York Times, "What Does It Mean to Look at This?," 24 May 2018 Others remembered those who had not returned or who had been horribly maimed. Brendan Simms, WSJ, "‘Peace at Last’ Review: Remembering Flanders Fields," 11 Nov. 2018 In a twitter message, a woman identifying herself as Carol Golden, the victim’s mother, said her son was maimed by a bomb that was in a bag like the one shown on the poster. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "New information in N.Y. explosion that maimed local man," 4 July 2018 It is born out of violent self-loathing, out of the desire to hurt and maim and punish a body that our culture has decided is unacceptable. Constance Grady, Vox, "Netflix’s Insatiable is somehow both obscenely cruel and terminally dull," 9 Aug. 2018 In season one, these hosts—played by actors such as Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton —were maimed and killed by human visitors living out Wild West fantasies, only to be repaired and returned to the park with no memory of what happened. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "In New Season of ‘Westworld,’ Violence Serves a Purpose," 18 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maim.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of maim


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for maim

Verb and Noun

Middle English maymen, mahaymen, from Anglo-French maheimer, mahaigner — more at mayhem

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about maim

Statistics for maim

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maim

The first known use of maim was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for maim



English Language Learners Definition of maim

: to injure (someone) very badly by violence


\ ˈmām \
maimed; maiming

Kids Definition of maim

: to injure badly or cripple by violence
\ ˈmām \

Medical Definition of maim

1 : to commit the felony of mayhem upon
2 : to wound seriously : mutilate, disable

Keep scrolling for more

\ ˈmām \

Legal Definition of maim

: to mutilate, disfigure, or wound seriously — compare mayhem

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on maim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maim

Spanish Central: Translation of maim

Nglish: Translation of maim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maim for Arabic Speakers

Comments on maim

What made you want to look up maim? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


very full or close together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!