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smite

[smahyt]
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verb (used with object), smote or (Obsolete) smit; smit·ten or smit; smit·ing.
  1. 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.
  2. to deliver or deal (a blow, hit, etc.) by striking hard.
  3. to strike down, injure, or slay: His sword had smitten thousands.
  4. to afflict or attack with deadly or disastrous effect: smitten by polio.
  5. to affect mentally or morally with a sudden pang: His conscience smote him.
  6. to affect suddenly and strongly with a specified feeling: They were smitten with terror.
  7. to impress favorably; charm; enamor: He was smitten by her charms.
verb (used without object), smote or (Obsolete) smit; smit·ten or smit; smit·ing.
  1. to strike; deal a blow.
Idioms
  1. 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 formssmit·er, noun

Synonyms

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1. knock, cuff, buffet, slap.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for smiter

Historical Examples

  • Do Quakers, when smitten on the right cheek, turn the left to the smiter?

    The Romany Rye

    George Borrow

  • Did I not with these eyes see the sword uplifted and the smiter strike?

    The Disowned, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Don't turn your other cheek if one has been smitten, but smite the smiter, and heartily.

    Unicorns

    James Huneker

  • 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.


British Dictionary definitions for smiter

smite

verb smites, smiting, smote, smitten or smit (mainly tr) mainly archaic
  1. to strike with a heavy blow or blows
  2. to damage with or as if with blows
  3. to afflict or affect severelysmitten with flu
  4. to afflict in order to punish
  5. (intr foll by on) to strike forcibly or abruptlythe sun smote down on him
Derived Formssmiter, 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

Word Origin and History for smiter

smite

v.

"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