An example of to smite is for a lightning bolt to knock down a tree.
transitive verbsmote, smit′ten, smit′ing
- Archaic, Literary
- to hit or strike hard
- to bring into a specified condition by or as by a blow: to smite someone dead
- : now archaic or literary except in the pp.
- to strike or attack with powerful or disastrous effect: smitten by the flu
- to inspire strong and sudden love or devotion: he saw her and was immediately smitten
Origin of smiteMiddle English smiten from Old English smitan, akin to German schmeissen, to throw from Indo-European base an unverified form sm?-, to smear, smear on, stroke on
verbsmote, smit·ten, or smote smit·ing, smites
- a. To inflict a heavy blow on, with or as if with the hand, a tool, or a weapon.b. To drive or strike (a weapon, for example) forcefully onto or into something else.
- To attack, damage, or destroy by or as if by blows.
- a. To afflict: The population was smitten by the plague.b. To afflict retributively; chasten or chastise.
- To affect sharply with great feeling: He was smitten by deep remorse.
Origin of smiteMiddle English smiten from Old English smītan to smear
(third-person singular simple present smites, present participle smiting, simple past smote or obsolete smit, past participle smitten or smited)
From Middle English smiten, from Old English smÄ«tan (“to daub, smear, smudge; soil, defile, pollute"), from Proto-Germanic *smÄ«tanÄ… (“to throw"), from Proto-Indo-European *smeyd- (“to smear, whisk, strike, rub"). Cognate with Saterland Frisian smieta (“to throw, toss"), West Frisian smite (“to throw"), Low German smieten (“to throw, chuck, toss"), Dutch smijten (“to fling, hurl, throw"), Middle Low German besmitten (“to soil, sully"), German schmeiÃŸen (“to fling, throw"), Danish smide (“to throw"), Gothic ðŒ±ðŒ¹ðƒðŒ¼ðŒ´ðŒ¹ð„ðŒ°ðŒ½ (bismeitan).