Etymology
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mayhem (n.)

late 15c., "the violent doing of a bodily hurt to another person," 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]. By 19c. it was being used generally of any sort of violent disorder or needless or willful damage or violence.

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Definitions of mayhem

mayhem (n.)
the willful and unlawful crippling or mutilation of another person;
mayhem (n.)
violent and needless disturbance;
Synonyms: havoc
From wordnet.princeton.edu