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[lohth, lohth] /loʊθ, loʊð/


or loth

[lohth, lohth] /loʊθ, loʊð/
unwilling; reluctant; disinclined; averse:
to be loath to admit a mistake.
Origin of loath
before 900; Middle English loth, lath, Old English lāth hostile, hateful; cognate with Dutch leed, German leid sorry, Old Norse leithr hateful
Related forms
loathness, noun
overloath, adjective
unloath, adjective
unloathly, adverb
Can be confused
loath, loathe, loathsome.
See reluctant.
eager. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for loth
Historical Examples
  • Our humble record of his life and writings is drawing to an end: yet we still linger, loth to part with a spirit so dear to us.

  • He is loth to part with the Mother Land, which he still calls "home."

    America First Various
  • The children, however, were loth to leave the spot, curiously wondering as to who lived in the log hut.

    The Liberty Girl Rena I. Halsey
  • "loth as I am to give you pain, I must proceed," Field said.

    The Slave of Silence Fred M. White
  • Dinah was not loth to obey this behest, being terribly anxious to know what was happening around them.

    The Sign Of The Red Cross Evelyn Everett-Green
  • Then why So loth, the pay for boldness giving,To leave off living?

    Laments Jan Kochanowski
  • The natives are then loth to leave their huts and will spend the day crouching over a fire.

  • I was loth to yield to it, fearing they would deal too roughly with the natives.

    Early Australian Voyages John Pinkerton
  • Yet, as I am loth that any more fair youths should lose their lives for my sake, I will give you this counsel.

  • In brief, he is one that has lost all good himself, and is loth to find it in another.

    Microcosmography John Earle
British Dictionary definitions for loth


a variant spelling of loath
Derived Forms
lothness, noun


(usually foll by to) reluctant or unwilling
nothing loath, willing
Derived Forms
loathness, lothness, noun
Word Origin
Old English lāth (in the sense: hostile); related to Old Norse leithr
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for loth

alternative spelling of loath.



Old English lað "hated; hateful; hostile; repulsive," from Proto-Germanic *laithaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian leth "loathsome," Old Norse leiðr "hateful, hostile, loathed;" Middle Dutch lelijc, Dutch leelijk "ugly;" Old High German leid "sorrowful, hateful, offensive, grievous," German Leid "sorrow;" French laid "ugly," from Frankish *laid), from PIE root *leit- "to detest."

Weakened meaning "averse, disinclined" is attested from late 14c. Loath to depart, a line from some long-forgotten song, is recorded since 1580s as a generic term expressive of any tune played at farewells, the sailing of a ship, etc. Related: Loathness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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