\ 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

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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

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 Antony argued that Goodwin’s kicks to Harris’s backside, rib cage and stomach could have killed, maimed or disabled Harris, elements necessary for the malicious-wounding charge. Ian Shapira, Washington Post, "White supremacist is guilty in Charlottesville parking garage beating of black man," 1 May 2018 No one claimed the attack, and civilians are often killed or maimed by bombs targeting security forces. Washington Post, "Taliban reject talk of direct negotiations with government," 29 July 2019 First, because the phrase trivializes the tens of millions of females who have been killed, maimed, or raped during actual wars. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Avoid hype in editorializing about women’s health issues," 25 Aug. 2019 Nearly every other manufacturer of a machine that has the potential to kill or maim is forced to think about consumer safety. Melissa Chan, Time, "Just About Everyone But the Gun Maker Gets Sued After a Mass Shooting," 20 Aug. 2019 The podcast tells the true story of former Dallas neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, now serving a life sentence for intentionally maiming a patient during surgery. Dan Singer, Dallas News, "Dallas' 'Dr. Death' is going Hollywood, with a new TV adaptation in the works," 12 Aug. 2019 But the fact is, people with guns kill, and maim and terrorize. Sue Mcmillin, The Denver Post, "McMillin: America must reckon with the unfettered gun violence killing our children," 6 Aug. 2019 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

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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Statistics for maim

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for maim

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

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More Definitions for maim


How to pronounce maim (audio)

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

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