THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
OTHER WORDS FROM smittenun·smit·ten, adjective
Words nearby smitten
What does smitten mean?
Smitten is most popularly used to mean deeply in love.
It can also mean infatuated due to being extremely impressed or fond of someone or something, as in I’m just smitten with your new hairstyle or She’s smitten with her new granddaughter. Another way to say any of these things is in love.
In a more negative sense, smitten can mean severely or intensely affected or afflicted, such as by illness.
All of these senses derive from the fact that smitten is the past participle of the verb smite, which means to strike, damage, injure, attack, or afflict. While smite is often associated with archaic uses (such as its use in the King James Bible to refer to the wrath of God), most senses of the word smitten don’t have this association.
Example: I can tell just by the look in your eyes that you’re smitten. What’s his name?
Where does smitten come from?
The first records of smitten come from the 1200s. The verb smite is recorded earlier, before 900. It derives from the Middle English word smiten and is related to several Germanic words, like the Old High German smīzan, “to smear,” and the German schmeissen, “to throw.” Smitten is the past participle of smite is the exact same way that bitten is the past participle of bite.
The most common use of smitten is to imply that someone is in love, especially so deeply that it’s just obvious—a person who’s smitten in this way is always smiling. People also use smitten to express that they’re infatuated with something or have a strong (and often new) fondness for it. People are usually smitten with a new puppy. A fashion critic might say they’re smitten with a designer’s new collection.
Similar ways of saying this are in love with and taken by. You can be smitten with things, but you can also be smitten by things, meaning you’re strongly affected by them, as in I was completely smitten by her charm. Often, this sense of the word applies to negative situations, such as being smitten by the flu. In these cases, smitten is very similar to the word stricken or afflicted.
Smitten can still be used literally as the past participle of smite (in which case it means “struck down”), but this is much less common.
Did you know ... ?
How is smitten used in real life?
Smitten is most commonly used to imply that someone is in love, but it’s also often used to refer to an infatuated fondness.
You can literally hear Taylor Swift blushing like a smitten kitten as she sings #CallItWhatYouWant to the love of her life. She’s happy. 😊❤️
— Alex Goldschmidt (@alexandergold) November 3, 2017
im so smitten with my child that i have taken about a million pictures of her already
— elle (@lnrclr) April 16, 2020
also shoutout to Lou Eyrich (the costume designer) who is the sweetest, coolest woman i've ever met. I'm so smitten w her & her pretty soul.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) April 25, 2015
Try using smitten!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym for smitten?
Example sentences from the Web for smitten
The couple were so smitten with the many-layered creation, they urged Safarova to make it known to a wider audience and open a bakery.This new Azerbaijani bakery offers stories as good as its pastries|Tom Sietsema|February 26, 2021|Washington Post
XBIZ and AVN award-winning starlet Ariel Rebel is smitten with Spartacus.What Porn Stars Find Sexy on TV: From ‘Game of Thrones’ to ‘Deadliest Catch’|Aurora Snow|September 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There are quotes from both you and Robin Wright about being “smitten” with one another during filming.Cary Elwes, aka Westley, Shares Inconceivable Tales From the Making of ‘The Princess Bride’|Marlow Stern|September 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
By our middle twenties we were smitten even worse by Summer.
He then jumps off a building to go fight crime, leaving Stacy totally smitten—and more than a little apprehensive.2012’s Best Onscreen Kisses: ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ & More (VIDEO)|Melissa Leon|December 31, 2012|DAILY BEAST
But while friends agree Lighty was deeply smitten with his wife, they have questioned her intent before and during the marriage.The Mysterious Death of Hip-Hop Manager & Power Broker Chris Lighty|Allison Samuels|October 4, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Mrs. Charmington hastened to spread the report that his Royal Highness was seriously smitten.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
Smitten in conscience, that landlord hurried out after the missionary and actually begged of him to repeat his visit.The Garret and the Garden|R.M. Ballantyne
On her part she was smitten with Maxence Gilet, whom she entertained in the house of the old bachelor at the latter's expense.
On another occasion she gave exceedingly good counsel to Mme. de l'Estorade, who was afraid of being smitten with Sallenauve.
Finally he was smitten with Mme. Marneffe, whom he had for mistress and afterwards married when she became a widow in 1843.