\ 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 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 The bid to maim the American Rescue Plan could have been averted if its drafters were attentive not just to esoteric conservative scribblers, but major Supreme Court precedents. Simon Lazarus, The New Republic, 29 Mar. 2021 Slovenia's president spoke of eliminating land mines, legacies of bygone wars that still maim and kill. Peter Prengaman, Star Tribune, 25 Sep. 2020 According to the findings, his government and security forces have engaged in an assortment of brutal torture tactics ranging from electric shocks, genital mutilation, and asphyxiation to kill and maim dissidents. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, 24 Sep. 2020 Cliff Hill and maimed Public Safety Commissioner Max Williams, who lost an eye and a hand, and the mayor’s executive assistant, Gene Lint, who was a decorated World War II veteran. al, 3 May 2020 Ansari, Nanjiani, and Minhaj are burdened with the question of how not to maim their parents in mining their autobiographies. Sanjena Sathian, The New Yorker, 10 Mar. 2020 Theodosia seemed one of those maimed or homely people who—feeling themselves unimprovable—make a militant point of glaring you down. Allan Gurganus, The New Yorker, 27 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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

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 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

Cite this Entry

“Maim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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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


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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