tr.v. maimed, maim·ing, maims
1. To injure, disable, or disfigure, usually by depriving of the use of a limb or other part of the body. See Synonyms at mangle.
2. To make imperfect or defective; impair: "The presumption of innocence has already been maimed ... for foreign Muslims" (Nicholas D. Kristof).
[Middle English maimen, from Old French mahaignier; see MAYHEM.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.