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maim

[meym]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to deprive of the use of some part of the body by wounding or the like; cripple: The explosion maimed him for life.
  2. to impair; make essentially defective: The essay was maimed by deletion of important paragraphs.
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noun Obsolete.
  1. a physical injury, especially a loss of a limb.
  2. an injury or defect; blemish; lack.
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Origin of maim

1250–1300; Middle English mayme, variant of mahayme mayhem
Related formsmaimed·ness, nounmaim·er, nounre·maim, verb (used with object)self-maimed, adjectiveun·maimed, adjective
Can be confusedmaim mayhem (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms

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1. Maim, lacerate, mangle, mutilate indicate the infliction of painful and severe injuries on the body. To maim is to injure by giving a disabling wound, or by depriving a person of one or more members or their use: maimed in an accident. To lacerate is to inflict severe cuts and tears on the flesh or skin: to lacerate an arm. To mangle is to chop undiscriminatingly or to crush or rend by blows or pressure, as if by machinery: bodies mangled in a train wreck. To mutilate is to injure the completeness or beauty of a body, especially by cutting off an important member: to mutilate a statue, a tree, a person. 2. injure, disable, deface, mar.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for maim

maim

verb (tr)
  1. to mutilate, cripple, or disable a part of the body of (a person or animal)
  2. to make defective
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noun
  1. obsolete an injury or defect
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Derived Formsmaimedness (ˈmeɪmɪdnɪs), nounmaimer, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French mahaignier to wound, probably of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for maim

v.

c.1300, maimen, from Old French mahaignier "injure, wound, muitilate, cripple, disarm," possibly from Vulgar Latin *mahanare (cf. Provençal mayanhar, Italian magagnare), of unknown origin; or possibly from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *mait- (cf. Old Norse meiða "to hurt," related to mad (adj.)), or from PIE root *mai- "to cut." Related: Maimed; maiming.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper