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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 smiting
Historical Examples
  • They threw themselves upon the Pixie, smiting face and breast, arms and legs with swift, strong blows.

    Old Farm Fairies: Henry Christopher McCook
  • A third time he rose and rushed on, smiting with his blind man's staff.

    The World's Desire H. Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang
  • The strange stars within her eyes began to glitter forth as they had when she had summoned the smiting Thing.

    The Metal Monster A. Merritt
  • "So be it," he said, smiting his palm upon the Sheriff's hand.

  • By now I was behind the bear, and, smiting at its right leg below the knee, severed the tendon.

    The Wanderer's Necklace H. Rider Haggard
  • Rotherby broke in tempestuously, smiting the desk before him.

    The Lion's Skin Rafael Sabatini
  • "But we mus' pay back," said Claude, smiting the table with his fist.

    Rose Charlitte Marshall Saunders
  • Does perfecting of the spirit mean the smiting of the spirit into unconsciousness?

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Alexander Maclaren
  • While smiting down the giants and dragons which beset the outward world, are there no evil guests sitting by his own hearth-stone?

  • He sees himself pursuing his enemies, and smiting them to the ground.

    The Life of David Alexander Maclaren
British Dictionary definitions for smiting


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 smiting



"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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