mayhem Definition

  • 1violent or extreme disorder; chaos
  • 2deliberate injury of someone, especially maiming; a violent event

Using mayhem: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "mayhem" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The storm caused mayhem in the city.

  • Example

    The football match ended in mayhem when fans invaded the pitch.

  • Example

    The bank robbery resulted in mayhem and destruction.

  • Example

    The accident caused mayhem on the highway.

mayhem Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for mayhem

Antonyms for mayhem

Idioms Using mayhem

  • all hell breaks loose/mayhem ensues

    a situation where chaos and disorder suddenly erupts


    As soon as the referee blew the whistle, all hell broke loose and mayhem ensued on the football field.

  • go haywire/mayhem

    to become out of control or chaotic


    The party went haywire/mayhem when the guests started drinking too much.

  • create a scene/mayhem

    to cause a public disturbance or uproar


    The angry customer created a scene/mayhem in the restaurant when his order was wrong.

Phrases with mayhem

  • to cause chaos or confusion


    The announcement created mayhem among the passengers waiting at the gate.

  • wreak havoc/mayhem

    to cause widespread damage or destruction


    The hurricane wreaked havoc/mayhem on the coastal towns.

  • an event or activity that is chaotic but planned or controlled


    The music festival was organised mayhem, with thousands of people dancing and singing to the music.

Origins of mayhem

from Old French 'mahaigne', meaning 'injury'


Summary: mayhem in Brief

The term 'mayhem' [ˈmeɪhɛm] refers to violent or extreme disorder, often resulting in chaos and confusion. It can also refer to deliberate injury or maiming of someone, exemplified by 'The bank robbery resulted in mayhem and destruction.' 'Mayhem' extends into phrases like 'create mayhem,' and idioms like 'all hell breaks loose/mayhem ensues,' denoting sudden chaos, and 'go haywire/mayhem,' implying loss of control.

How do native speakers use this expression?