to be smitten = bezaubert sein, eingenommen sein, heimgesucht sein —— to be smitten (with sb.) = (in jdn.) verknallt/vernarrt sein —— smitten with her beauty = in ihre Schönheit verknallt —— smitten with her charms = von ihrem Charme eingenommen —— conscience-smitten = vom Gewissen gebissen/getrieben —— smitten with amazement = von Staunen ergriffen —— smitten with desire = von starkem Verlangem befallen —— smitten with remorse = von Gewissensbissen heimgesucht —— smitten with surprise = ganz überrascht



“For years as a teenager I would think about how I’d fake my death. I’d been SMITTEN by the news spot I’d seen on John Darwin, the British man who in the early 2000s fabricated his own disappearance with the help of his wife, Anne.”

Jack Vening - The Guardian (12th January 2023)

Did you

smitten (by / with)

- having suddenly started to like or love something or someone very much

- deeply affected with or struck by strong feelings of attraction, affection, or infatuation

The Cambridge Dictionary / Merriam-Webster


Smitten is related to the verb "smite", which comes from the Old English smitan, meaning “to hit, strike, beat”.

What do hitting and beating have to do with love, you may ask? Well, when some people fall in love they report feeling as though they’ve been “struck by lightning”.


Enjoy comparing Rainer Maria Rilke’s masterful German translation (below) to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s beautiful sonnet:

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

E. B. Browning

Wie ich dich liebe?

Wie ich dich liebe? Laß mich zählen wie.
Ich liebe dich so tief, so hoch, so weit,
als meine Seele blindlings reicht, wenn sie
ihr Dasein abfühlt und die Ewigkeit.

Ich liebe dich bis zu dem stillsten Stand,
den jeder Tag erreicht im Lampenschein
oder in Sonne. Frei, im Recht, und rein
wie jene, die vom Ruhm sich abgewandt.

Mit aller Leidenschaft der Leidenszeit
und mit der Kindheit Kraft, die fort war, seit
ich meine Heiligen nicht mehr geliebt.

Mit allem Lächeln, aller Tränennot
und allem Atem. Und wenn Gott es giebt,
will ich dich besser lieben nach dem Tod.

Übertragung von R.M. Rilke


- very attracted to something or someone

absorbed (in), addicted/attached (to), bedazzled, beguiled (by), besotted (with), bewitched (by), bowled over (by), captivated (by), carried away (by, with), carrying a torch for, charmed (by), consumed with, crazy about, dazzled (by), dedicated (to), devoted (to), doting (on), dotty about, eat sleep and breathe, enamored (of), enchanted (by), engrossed (in), enrapt, enraptured (by), enthralled (by), enthusiastic about, entranced (by), fallen for, fanatical (about), far gone on, fascinated (by), fervent, fervid, fixated by (on), gaga (about, over), gone on, greatly enamoured of, gripped (by), have a thing about, head over heels (about), heavily into, hooked (on), hopelessly in love (with), hung up (on), hypnotized (by), impassioned, in a brown study, infatuated (with), in the grip of, into, mad about, mesmerised (by), monomaniacal, moonstruck, nuts (about), obsessed (about, with), passionate (about), possessed (by), potty (about), really into, riveted (by), single-minded about, SMITTEN (by, with), sold on, spellbound, sweet on, swept off one’s feet by, taken up (with), taken with, turned on (by), twitterpated by, under the spell of, very keen on, very taken with, wackadoo, wackadoodle, wild about (on), wild on, wrapped up (in), zealous

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“I was SMITTEN by my wife from the very first moment I set eyes on her.”

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:


Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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