- Mayhem is defined as violence, damage or chaos, or the crime of crippling or mutilating a victim.
- An example of mayhem is a mosh pit that gets out of control at a rock concert.
- An example of mayhem is a person causing a victim to not be able to walk.
- Law the offense of maiming a person; specif.,
- the intentional mutilation of another's body
- injury inflicted on another so as to cause loss of a bodily part or function necessary for self-defense
- any deliberate destruction or violence
Origin of mayhemsee maim
- Law The criminal offense of willfully maiming, disabling, or disfiguring a person.
- Infliction of violent injury on a person or thing; wanton destruction: children committing mayhem in the flower beds.
- A state of violent disorder or riotous confusion; havoc.
Origin of mayhemMiddle English maim, mayhem, from Anglo-Norman maihem, from Old French mahaigne, injury, from mahaignier, to maim, from Vulgar Latin *mahanāre, probably of Germanic origin.
(usually uncountable, plural mayhems)
- A state or situation of great confusion, disorder, trouble or destruction; chaos.
- What if the legendary hero Robin Hood had been born into the mayhem of the 20th century ?
- In all the mayhem, some children were separated from their partners.
- She waded into the mayhem, elbowing between taller men to work her way to the front of the crowd.
- The clowns would dart into the crowd and pull another unsuspecting victim into the mayhem of the ring
- Infliction of violent injury on a person or thing.
- The fighting dogs created mayhem in the flower beds.
- (law) The maiming of a person by depriving him of the use of any of his limbs which are necessary for defense or protection.
- (law) The crime of damaging things or harming people on purpose.
Middle English mayme, mahaime, from Anglo-Norman mahaim (“mutilation”), from Old French mahaign (“bodily harm, loss of limb”), from Germanic, from Proto-Germanic *maidijaną (“to cripple, injure”) (compare Middle High German meidem, meiden 'gelding', Old Norse meiða 'to injure', Gothic maidjan 'to alter, falsify'), from Proto-Indo-European *mei (“to change”). More at mad. The original meaning referred to the crime of maiming, the other senses derived from this.
Meaning #1 may have arisen by popular misunderstanding of the common journalese expression "rioting and mayhem".
mayhem - Legal Definition