- 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.
- to strike; deal a blow.
- smite hip and thigh. hip1(def 9).
Origin of smite
SynonymsSee more synonyms for smite on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for smite
Here is a knave of a friar calleth me a mad priest, and yet I smite him not.The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
If he break the law, any citizen not less than thirty years of age may smite him.Laws
The kiss seemed to Israel to smite his own cheeks like a blow.The Scapegoat
The strength of the Prophet is within him thus to smite the unbelieving pigs.The Sea-Hawk
Seuthes, turning to the boy, asked, "Shall I smite him instead of you?"Anabasis
- to strike with a heavy blow or blows
- to damage with or as if with blows
- to afflict or affect severelysmitten with flu
- to afflict in order to punish
- (intr foll by on) to strike forcibly or abruptlythe sun smote down on him
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.