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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for smit
Historical Examples
  • On his last journey to the Cape, smit took the Malay with him only part of the way.

    The Settler and the Savage R.M. Ballantyne
  • He was not under my control, he was under the control of smit.

    In the Shadow of Death P. H. Kritzinger and R. D. McDonald
  • smit was a surly fellow, and refused shelter to the traveller, who was therefore obliged to continue his journey during the night.

    Six Months at the Cape R.M. Ballantyne
  • Next, they are smit with wonder at the black shells of a wagon-load of live lobsters, packed in rock-weed for the country market.

  • Next they are smit with wonder at the black shells of a wagon-load of live lobsters packed in rock-weed for the country-market.

    Twice Told Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • smit—Clashing noise, from smite—hence also (perhaps) smith and smithy.

  • She says Joseph Warder is smit with Darthea's aunt, and what a fine courtship that will be!

    Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker S. Weir Mitchell
  • Homeric combat then ran like this: the heart of smit was black with anger and he smote smit upon the brazen helmet.

    Chimney-Pot Papers Charles S. Brooks
  • I answered Mr. smit that traitors were not admitted on our premises, and that he would have to stay where he was.

  • Mr. smit now began to "sing small," and turning deadly pale, asked in a tremulous voice if there were any chance of seeing Botha.

British Dictionary definitions for smit


(Scot & Northern English, dialect) the smit, an infection: he's got the smit
Word Origin
Old English smitte a spot, and smittian to smear; related to Old High German smiz, whence Middle High German smitz


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 smit



"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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