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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 smiter
Historical Examples
  • It is true that we cannot turn the cheek to the smiter, and the sole and sufficient reason is that we have not the pluck.

    Twelve Types G.K. Chesterton
  • Do Quakers, when smitten on the right cheek, turn the left to the smiter?

    The Romany Rye George Borrow
  • The shepherd must watch yet over his flock, even though he hold himself away from the hand of the smiter.

    For the Faith Evelyn Everett-Green
  • He was turning in a very literal sense his cheek to the smiter.

    The Squire's Daughter Silas K(itto) Hocking
  • But he is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to the smiter.

    Cynthia's Chauffeur Louis Tracy
  • Yet he fell far short of the Christian principle of turning to the smiter the other cheek.

    Benjamin Franklin John Torrey Morse, Jr.
  • Besides, is it not written in the Holy Book that thou shouldst turn the other cheek to the smiter?

  • Let us not provoke the smiter, lest he draw his sword against us, and have law and reason on his side.

    Ringan Gilhaize John Galt
  • I was reared in a rectory, where we were taught to love our enemies, and turn to the smiter the other cheek.

    The Scarlet Feather Houghton Townley
  • You and your charity and your loving-kindness, and your turning the cheek to the smiter and all the rest of it.

    Bye-Ways Robert Smythe Hichens
British Dictionary definitions for smiter


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 smiter



"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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