The Meaning of Smitten: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of smitten? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word smitten, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word smitten mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and Dictionary, the word smitten (pronounced ​ˈsmɪtən) is an adjective that has three possible meanings. The most common meaning that you will hear in American English is to be in love, or infatuated with another person. A schoolboy might be smitten with the girl next door, or another smitten person might have uncontrollable happiness or romantic thoughts in the presence of a special person. Smitten can also mean struck, as by a hard punch or blow. Finally, the word smitten, being used as the past participle form of the verb smite (pronounced ​​smaɪt), can mean stricken with disaster, to have a disastrous effect, or to be afflicted by something. This word has many different meanings, so make sure to use context clues to infer which meaning a person is trying to convey. Additionally, if you decide to use the word smitten, make sure that you provide listeners with enough context so that they understand which meaning you intend. Try using this word of the day or other new words in a sentence today!

Many different languages also contain words that mean smitten. You may notice that some of these words look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are when two words look, sound, and mean the same thing across two different languages. These are often formed when two words have the same root or language of origin. This list of translations for the word smitten is provided by Word Sense

  • Icelandic: ástfanginn‎
  • Turkish: aşk içinde‎, aşık‎
  • Hungarian: szerelmes‎
  • Danish: forelsket‎
  • German: verliebt‎
  • Swedish: kär‎
  • Galician: namorado‎, enamorado‎
  • Russian: влюблённый‎
  • Armenian: սիրահարված‎
  • Scottish Gaelic: ann am gaol‎, ann am gràdh‎
  • Portuguese: enamorado‎, apaixonado‎
  • Ido: amorala‎
  • Irish: i ngrá‎
  • Spanish: enamorado‎
  • Greek: ερωτευμένος‎ (masc.)
  • Romanian: îndragostit‎
  • Bokmål: forelsket‎
  • Italian: innamorato‎
  • French: amoureux‎
  • Dutch: verliefd‎
  • Japanese: 恋する‎ (koi suru)
  • Asturian: namoráu‎
  • Catalan: enamorat‎
  • Finnish: rakastunut‎
  • Welsh: mewn cariad‎

How can the word smitten be used in a sentence?

The word smitten can be used in three different ways in sentences since it has three possible definitions. In this first example, the word smitten will mean in love. Hallie and Raven are getting ready to go to a concert.

Raven: Wow! You look nice!

Hallie: Thanks! I went to the mall, got a whole new outfit; I want to feel like a new woman. Maybe then the lead singer will notice me.

Raven: Oh my God, you’re so smitten!

Next, the word smitten will be used to mean stuck by a hard blow. Hallie comes to school with a black eye.

Raven: Whoa, what happened to you?

Hallie: My brother and I were playing baseball in the backyard, and I got smitten with the ball.

Raven: Yikes, what a terror. Want some concealer?

Finally, the word smitten will be used to mean affected by something. Raven did not show up to school, which is very unlike her. 

Hallie: Hey! You okay? Missed you at school today.

Raven: Ugh, I’ve been smitten with food poisoning. 

What is the origin of the word smitten?

According to Etymonline, the word smitten has been used since the mid-13th century to describe something that has been struck hard or visited by disaster. This is formed via the past participle adjective of the word smite. The word smitten has been used to mean lovestruck since the 1660s. The word smite comes from the Old English s​​​​​mītan​ which meant to pollute or defile, from the Old English verb smittian. This word comes from the Old High German smizan, from the Middle Low German.These words have also given us the German schmitzen and the Danish smitte and Dutch smitte. This comes from the Proto-Germanic smitan, meaning to smear or fling. It is unclear how this term came to have its current meaning, but it has been used biblically to mean to visit disastrously since the mid-12th century. It has meant to strike with passion or emotion since 1300. 

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word smitten?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word smitten. These words have the same definition as the word smitten and are known as synonyms. Synonyms are a great, easy way to work on expanding your vocabulary, and they can also help you to avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word smitten is provided by Thesaurus

  • under a spell
  • swept off one’s feet
  • bewitched
  • devoted
  • gone
  • far gone on
  • fond
  • stuck on
  • affected
  • stricken
  • captivated
  • infatuated
  • carried away
  • has a thing about
  • enamored
  • beguiled
  • wild about
  • afflicted
  • enraptured
  • besotted
  • fever
  • awe
  • amorous
  • foolish
  • seduced
  • hooked
  • silly
  • taken
  • entranced
  • crazy about
  • charmed
  • fascinated
  • inflamed
  • loving
  • possessed
  • nuts about
  • silly about
  • attracted
  • dotty
  • enchanted
  • intoxicated
  • spellbound

There are also many different words that have the opposite meaning as the word smitten. These are called antonyms, which are another great way to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word smitten is also provided by Thesaurus

  • heedless
  • highbrow
  • impervious
  • objective
  • unprejudiced
  • incurious
  • nonpartisan
  • uncaring
  • unbiased
  • unmoved
  • uninvolved
  • regardless
  • heartless
  • equitable
  • unsympathetic
  • impersonal
  • lackadaisical
  • just watching the clock
  • candid
  • uncommunicative
  • unconcerned
  • diffident
  • dispassionate
  • stoical
  • inattentive
  • distant
  • listless
  • callous
  • casual
  • impartial
  • cold
  • phlegmatic
  • uncurious
  • unemotional
  • blasé
  • withdrawn
  • silent
  • neutral
  • passionless
  • unselfish
  • nonchalant
  • negative
  • remote
  • even-handed
  • cool
  • superior
  • unimpressed
  • unaroused
  • detached
  • haughty
  • aloof
  • outside
  • indifferent
  • not giving a damn
  • unresponsive
  • unsocial
  • perfunctory
  • disinterested
  • apathetic
  • scornful
  • supercilious

Overall, the word smitten is an adjective with three possible meanings. First, it can mean to be very much in love with someone or something.  Next, it can mean stuck as if by a blow. Third, using the past participle of smite, the word smitten can mean stricken with disaster. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.wordsense.eu/smitten/
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/disinterested
  3. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/smitten
  4. https://www.etymonline.com/word/smitten#etymonline_v_30536
  5. https://www.etymonline.com/word/smite?ref=etymonline_crossreference
  6. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smitten#:~:text=1%20%3A%20deeply%20affected%20with%20or,in%20a%20letter%20to%20him.%E2%80%94
  7. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/smitten