v. smote (smōt), smit·ten (smĭtn) 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.
2. 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.
4. To affect sharply with great feeling: He was smitten by deep remorse.
To deal a blow with or as if with the hand or a handheld weapon.
[Middle English smiten, from Old English smītan, to smear.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.