See more synonyms for smite on
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.
  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 for smite

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for smite

Historical Examples of smite

  • Here is a knave of a friar calleth me a mad priest, and yet I smite him not.

  • If he break the law, any citizen not less than thirty years of age may smite him.



  • The kiss seemed to Israel to smite his own cheeks like a blow.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

  • The strength of the Prophet is within him thus to smite the unbelieving pigs.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Seuthes, turning to the boy, asked, "Shall I smite him instead of you?"



British Dictionary definitions for 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 for smite

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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper