Definition of mayhem noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈmeɪhem//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈmeɪhem//
[uncountable] Fear
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confusion and fear, usually caused by violent behaviour or by some sudden shocking event There was absolute mayhem when everyone tried to get out at once. It only takes a few stupid people to create mayhem in a crowd. The gales caused mayhem across much of the country. The terrorists brought mayhem to the crowded shopping area. See related entries: Fear Word Originearly 16th cent.: from Old French mayhem (see maim). The sense ‘disorder’ (originally US) dates from the late 19th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: mayhem