\ ˈmām How to pronounce maim (audio) \
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

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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

But when patients entered his operating room for complex, routine spinal surgeries and left permanently maimed or dead, victims piled up and two fellow surgeons and a young Assistant District Attorney set out to stop him. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin, Christian Slater cast in Dr. Death podcast adaptation series," 9 Aug. 2019 But when an article is this rich, moving, even profound, taking away its title would maim it. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "The Lonely Work of Moderating Hacker News," 8 Aug. 2019 He had been accused of raping, maiming and murdering on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Jan Ransom,, "Trump suggests Central Park 5 might still be guilty — even after they were exonerated," 18 June 2019 Most attackers’ aim, experts say, is not to kill, but to maim and embarrass. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column One: This cafe in India is fully run by acid attack survivors," 18 Apr. 2019 Most Read Life Stories The little plastic cup of Tostitos salsa that arrived on my breakfast plate kind of maimed the charming scene. Crystal Paul, The Seattle Times, "What it’s like to take a 35-hour ride on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train from Los Angeles to Seattle," 29 Mar. 2019 Sometimes, things from space can maim or kill us, like the gargantuan asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. Quanta Magazine, "How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals," 15 Jan. 2019 At first, police said, Mohammed wanted to maim the officer by tossing acid in his face. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Man accused of hiring hitman to kill Houston police officer for writing too many tickets," 26 June 2018 When the rest of us can’t sleep we count sheep, and this guy has to count burned and maimed Cambodian and Vietnamese babies. Scott Sherman, The New York Review of Books, "A Muckraker’s Progress," 17 June 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for maim

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maim

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

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More Definitions for maim



English Language Learners Definition of maim

: to injure (someone) very badly by violence


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

Kids Definition of maim

: to injure badly or cripple by violence
\ ˈmām How to pronounce maim (audio) \

Medical Definition of maim

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

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\ ˈmām How to pronounce maim (audio) \

Legal Definition of maim

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

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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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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