- Law. the crime of willfully inflicting a bodily injury on another so as to make the victim less capable of self-defense or, under modern statutes, so as to cripple or mutilate the victim.
- random or deliberate violence or damage.
- a state of rowdy disorder: Antagonisms between the various factions at the meeting finally boiled over, and mayhem ensued.
Origin of mayhem
Related Words for mayhemviolence, commotion, havoc, pandemonium, fracas, anarchy, destruction, trouble, disorder
Examples from the Web for mayhem
Contemporary Examples of mayhem
Trevor Austin, CEO of Finna Rage, denied responsibility for the mayhem in Keene.Frat Culture Clashes With Riot Police at Keene, N.H., Pumpkin Festival
October 19, 2014
Ex-MMA fighter Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller live-tweeted a standoff with police over domestic violence charges.The MMA Fighters Have Gone Crazy: ‘Mayhem’ Miller the Latest in a Long Line of Psycho Pugilists
October 10, 2014
Rwanda and Ethiopia, symbols in the past of death and mayhem, are now among the fastest-growing economies in the world.How I Got Addicted to Africa (and Wrote a Thriller About It)
September 9, 2014
Of course there was mayhem there; the whole fight was delayed.The Gonzo Artist: Behind Ralph Steadman’s Most Famous Work
April 27, 2014
Come with me through 117 pages of euphemisms, bureaucracy, and mayhem.Up to a Point: I Do My Own Taxes With No Help, Except From a Couple of Bloody Marys
P. J. O’Rourke
April 15, 2014
Historical Examples of mayhem
It did not seem possible, Mayhem thought now, that a mistake could be made.
Something, Mayhem decided, had come up during transmigration.
Mayhem dabbed at his Sirian forehead gratefully, mopping at sweat.Think Yourself to Death
Mayhem's answer was a question, but the question didn't really require an answer.
The whole galaxy, let alone the solar system, knew the Mayhem legend.
- law the wilful and unlawful infliction of injury upon a person, esp (formerly) the injuring or removing of a limb rendering him less capable of defending himself against attack
- any violent destruction or confusion
Word Origin for mayhem
late 15c., from Anglo-French maihem (13c.), from Old French mahaigne "injury, wrong, a hurt, harm, damage;" related to mahaignier "to injure, wound, mutilate, cripple" (see maim). Originally, in law, the crime of maiming a person "to make him less able to defend himself or annoy his adversary" [OED].