\ ˈmām How to pronounce maim (audio) \
maimed; maiming; maims

Definition of maim

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

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



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

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

Verb 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 Cluster munitions spread submunitions — small explosives called bomblets — over a wide area, and are intended to kill or maim personnel and destroy vehicles and equipment. Mac William Bishop, Rolling Stone, 12 June 2022 Anti-personnel land mines often kill and maim civilians long after hostilities have ended. Arkansas Online, 5 June 2022 Assault rifles have one purpose which is to maim and kill as many humans as possible efficiently and quickly. Peter Bergen, CNN, 25 May 2022 The treaty cites the failure of many submunitions to explode on impact, leaving dangerous ordnance in fields and urban areas that could kill or maim people. CNN, 12 May 2022 Most ordinary people in the world do not support the power struggles that hurt and maim other people. Dwight A. Weingarten, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Mar. 2022 But [now], there doesn’t seem to be much communal psychosocial activity to reintegrate people — people who have been taught to kill, maim and be violent — back into a society which absolutely abhors that and does not allow that. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Mar. 2022 Given the freedom to kill and/or maim any character in the cast, Gunn can take the concept of a suicide squad to its logical conclusion. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 9 Aug. 2021 What prompted him to kill and maim his coworkers wasn’t immediately clear, the chief said. Jay Reeves,, 15 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Imad Eddin Wadi, 64, was indicted in June on a charge of conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim or injure people and damage property in another country, which carries a sentence of up to life in prison. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, 9 Dec. 2021 Hightower planned to contact inmates in other prisons in the state to carry out a plan to either kill, maim or severely injure Tiarks, according to court documents. Tracy Neal, Arkansas Online, 2 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of maim


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


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

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Time Traveler for maim

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near maim

mail shell



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Statistics for maim

Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Maim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for maim


\ ˈmām How to pronounce maim (audio) \
maimed; maiming

Kids Definition of maim

: to injure badly or cripple by violence


transitive verb
\ ˈmām How to pronounce maim (audio) \

Medical Definition of maim

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


transitive verb
\ ˈmām How to pronounce maim (audio) \

Legal Definition of maim

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

More from Merriam-Webster on maim

Nglish: Translation of maim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maim for Arabic Speakers


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