To smite is to strike with a heavy blow. If you’re playing an ancient Norse warrior in a play, you might get to smite your enemy with a club.

Smite comes from the old English for striking or smearing. You’re most likely to find it reading Biblical stories or mythologies, for example, where the thunderbolt of Zeus smites some misbehaving Greek fellow. The past participle of this verb is the cool word smitten, which is what you say about someone who's fallen head over heels for something or someone, that is, their emotions have been struck.

Definitions of smite
  1. verb
    inflict a heavy blow on, with the hand, a tool, or a weapon
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    type of:
    deal a blow to, either with the hand or with an instrument
  2. verb
    cause physical pain or suffering in
    synonyms: afflict
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    blight, plague
    cause to suffer a blight
    type of:
    inflict damage upon
  3. verb
    affect suddenly with deep feeling
    “He was smitten with love for this young girl”
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    type of:
    affect, impress, move, strike
    have an emotional or cognitive impact upon
Word Family

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