From Middle English maymen, mahaymen, from Anglo-Norman maheimer, mahaigner, of Germanic origin; see mayhem.
maim (third-person singular simple present maims, present participle maiming, simple past and past participle maimed)
- To wound seriously; to cause permanent loss of function of a limb or part of the body.
- 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter I, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, →OCLC:
- Three chairs of the steamer type, all maimed, comprised the furniture of this roof-garden, with (by way of local colour) on one of the copings a row of four red clay flower-pots filled with sun-baked dust from which gnarled and rusty stalks thrust themselves up like withered elfin limbs.
- He was maimed by a bear.
to cause permanent loss of a part of the body
maim (plural maims)
- (obsolete) A serious wound
- 1599, [Thomas] Nashe, Nashes Lenten Stuffe, […], London: […] [Thomas Judson and Valentine Simmes] for N[icholas] L[ing] and C[uthbert] B[urby] […], →OCLC, page 1:
- it ſequeſtred me from the woonted meanes of my maintenance, which is as great a maime to any mans happineſſe as can bee feared from the hands of miſerie, or the deepe pit of diſpaire wherinto I was falne, beyond my greateſt friendes reach to recouer mee
From Proto-Tocharian *meim, a nominal derivative of *mei- (“to measure”). Possibly linked to Proto-Indo-European *mod-ye/o- or *mēdye/o-, derivatives of *med- (“to measure, give advice, heal”) (whence Latin meditor and Old Irish midithir), or alternatively to *meh₁-ye/o- from *meh₁- (“to measure”) (whence Latin mētior). Compare Tocharian A mem.