maim

\ \ [13] Maim and mayhem [15] are ultimately the same word. Both go back to a Vulgar Latin verb *mahagnārewound’, whose origins are unknown. This passed into Old French as mahaignier (whose probable Anglo-Norman derivative *mahangler was the source of English manglemutilate’ [14]). Mahaignier became mayner, and passed into Middle English as mayn. But it also had a noun derivative, mahaing or main, which in due course became mayhem.
\ \ This seems to have been borrowed into English twice. First, in the 14th century, as maheym or maimsevere injury’; this has now died out, but has left its mark on the verb, which it has changed from mayn to maim. And second, in the 15th century, via Anglo-Norman, as mayhem.
\ \ Cf.MAYHEM

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • maim — / mām/ vt: to mutilate, disfigure, or wound seriously compare mayhem Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. maim …   Law dictionary

  • Maim — Maim, n. [Written in law language {maihem}, and {mayhem}.] [OF. mehaing. See {Maim}, v.] 1. The privation of the use of a limb or member of the body, by which one is rendered less able to defend himself or to annoy his adversary. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • maim — maim, cripple, mutilate, batter, mangle are comparable when they mean to injure the body or an object so severely as to leave permanent or long lasting effects. Maim implies the loss of a limb or member or the destruction of its usefulness… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • maim´er — maim «maym», verb, noun, adjective. –v.t. 1. to cut off or make useless an arm, leg, ear, or the like, of; cripple; disable: »He lost two toes in the accident, but we were glad that he was not more seriously maimed. SYNONYM(S): mutilate, mangle.… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Maim — (m[=a]m), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Maimed} (m[=a]md);p. pr. & vb. n. {Maiming}.] [OE. maimen, OF. mahaignier, mehaignier, meshaignier, cf. It. magagnare, LL. mahemiare, mahennare; perh. of Celtic origin; cf. Armor. mac ha[ n]a to mutilate, m[=a]c ha… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • maim — [meım] v [T] [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: maynier] to wound or injure someone very seriously and often permanently ▪ Landmines still kill or maim about 300 people every month …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • maim — maim·er; maim; …   English syllables

  • maim — [mām] vt. [ME maymen < OFr mahaigner, mayner] to deprive of the use of some necessary part of the body; cripple; mutilate; disable n. [ME mayme, maheym < OFr mahaing, main] Obs. an injury causing the loss or crippling of some necessary part …   English World dictionary

  • maim — [ meım ] verb transitive to injure someone seriously, especially permanently: The boy had been maimed in a train wreck …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • maim — (v.) c.1300, maimen, from O.Fr. mahaignier injure, wound, muitilate, cripple, disarm, possibly from V.L. *mahanare (Cf. Prov. mayanhar, It. magagnare), of unknown origin; or possibly from a Germanic source, from P.Gmc. *mait (Cf. O.N. meiða to… …   Etymology dictionary

  • maim — [v] cripple, put out of action batter, blemish, break, castrate, crush, damage, deface, disable, disfigure, dismember, disqualify, gimp*, hack, hamstring*, harm, hog tie*, hurt, impair, incapacitate, injure, lame, mangle, mar, massacre, maul,… …   New thesaurus

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