What does smite mean? Meaning of the word explained, definition and examples of how to use it in a sentence

The human language is one that is always evolving. Words that once might have been at the height of popularity will fall out of fashion, or pick up a new meaning, or others that haven’t been used in years will suddenly come back around.

One word that has people wondering about its definition today is that of smite, an Old English word.

What does smite mean? The word smite is a verb, with the past tense version being smote, the past participle smitten and present participle smiting.

Merriam-Webster defines the word smite as: “to strike sharply or heavily especially with the hand or an implement held in the hand”.

Here are some example sentences using the word smite and its various forms: The man vowed to smite his enemies The family was smote by the plague Villages were smitten by floods The blacksmith was smiting the iron

The word smitten does have its own separate definition as well, one that’s more up to date than the old fashioned one that is associated with smite.

The alternative definition of smitten, as defined by Merriam-Webster, means “deeply affected with or struck by strong feelings or attraction, affection, or infatuation”.

So you’re more likely to see smitten used in reference to someone talking about feelings, for example: The man was entirely smitten by his new wife.

Where am I most likely to see the word? Smite is a fairly old fashioned word - you’re most likely to come across the word in its intended usage in classic literature or in the bible.

“And Jehovah said to him, Therefore, whoever slayeth Cain, it shall be revenged sevenfold. And Jehovah set a mark on Cain, lest any finding him should smite him.” Gen 4:15

“Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.” Gen 32:11