A series of insurance ads personifies insurable disaster as a man who causes various kinds of property damage. The ads always end with the character saying, “be protected from mayhem like me,” spreading the idea that mayhem means, “damage.”
Mayhem shares its origin with the verb maim, which originally meant “to wound or cause bodily hurt or disfigurement.” In current usage, maim means “to mutilate” or “to cripple.”
Twin Blasts Kill 3 and Leave Scores Maimed, Wounded
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A new generation of maimed veterans is coming home with critical needs that overwhelm existing care facilities and devastate their families.
As a term in criminal law, mayhem retains the meaning of inflicting physical injury on a person.
Mayhem is a crime in which tremendous violence is done onto the victim. […] to prove the defendant guilty of mayhem, the prosecution needs to prove that the defendant had malicious intent to maim or disfigure, cuts or maims an ear, nose, lip or cuts off or disable limb of another person. (site of a Boston attorney)
In ordinary speech, mayhem is used to refer to any kind of violent behavior or disorder.
A surfers’ event in Huntington Beach, Calif., ended in mayhem late Sunday, as riot police were called to the streets to disperse violent crowds and break up numerous fights.
Akm Antivirus 2010 Pro is a virus that is causing mass mayhem around the internet by infecting thousands of PCs.
Current mayhem in the financial sector opens up an opportunity for Nigeria to rid itself of the political and economic cancer it has endured for decades.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Yanukovych must decide “between protecting the people that he serves — all of the people — … versus violence and mayhem.”
The word maim always denotes a crippling injury. Apart from legal use, mayhem may refer either to physical injury or to violent behavior that does not necessarily lead to injury.