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[smahyt] /smaɪt/
verb (used with object), smote or (Obsolete) smit; smitten or smit; smiting.
to strike or hit hard, with or as with the hand, a stick, or other weapon:
She smote him on the back with her umbrella.
to deliver or deal (a blow, hit, etc.) by striking hard.
to strike down, injure, or slay:
His sword had smitten thousands.
to afflict or attack with deadly or disastrous effect:
smitten by polio.
to affect mentally or morally with a sudden pang:
His conscience smote him.
to affect suddenly and strongly with a specified feeling:
They were smitten with terror.
to impress favorably; charm; enamor:
He was smitten by her charms.
verb (used without object), smote or (Obsolete) smit; smitten or smit; smiting.
to strike; deal a blow.
smite hip and thigh. hip1 (def 9).
Origin of smite
before 900; Middle English smiten, Old English smītan; cognate with German schmeissen to throw, Dutch smijten
Related forms
smiter, noun
1. knock, cuff, buffet, slap. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for smite
Historical Examples
  • And Saul cast the spear; for he said, "I will smite David even to the wall."

    The Bible Story Rev. Newton Marshall Hall
  • If he break the law, any citizen not less than thirty years of age may smite him.

    Laws Plato
  • It means utter relaxation of intellectual duty, and God will smite it.

  • The kiss seemed to Israel to smite his own cheeks like a blow.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • Whereupon, alas, the Troopers only smite their sword-handles, driving them further home!

    The French Revolution Thomas Carlyle
  • The strength of the Prophet is within him thus to smite the unbelieving pigs.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.

  • When Lionel saw this, he alighted from his horse to smite off his head.

  • Doc Macnooder smote high and low, and then forgot to smite—three strikes and out.

    The Eternal Boy Owen Johnson
  • I expected Lorand to smite that fair mouth for this despicable calumny.

    Debts of Honor Maurus Jkai
British Dictionary definitions for smite


verb (mainly transitive) (mainly archaic) smites, smiting, smote, smitten, smit
to strike with a heavy blow or blows
to damage with or as if with blows
to afflict or affect severely: smitten with flu
to afflict in order to punish
(intransitive) foll by on. to strike forcibly or abruptly: the sun smote down on him
Derived Forms
smiter, noun
Word Origin
Old English smītan; related to Old High German smīzan to smear, Gothic bismeitan, Old Swedish smēta to daub
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for smite

"to hit, strike, beat," mid-12c., from Old English smitan, which however is attested only as "to daub, smear on; soil, pollute, blemish, defile" (strong verb, past tense smat, past participle smiten), from Proto-Germanic *smitan (cf. Swedish smita, Danish smide "to smear, fling," Old Frisian smita, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch smiten "to cast, fling," Dutch smijten "to throw," Old High German smizan "to rub, strike," German schmeißen "to cast, fling," Gothic bismeitan "to spread, smear"). "The development of the various senses is not quite clear, but that of throwing is perh. the original one" [OED]. Watkins suggests "the semantic channel may have been slapping mud on walls in wattle and daub construction" and connects it with PIE *sme- "to smear;" Klein's sources also say this.

Sense of "slay in combat" (c.1300) is from Biblical expression smite to death, first attested c.1200. Meaning "visit disastrously" is mid-12c., also Biblical. Meaning "strike with passion or emotion" is from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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