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loathe

[ lohth ]
/ loʊð /
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See synonyms for: loathe / loathed / loathing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), loathed, loath·ing.
to feel disgust or intense aversion for; abhor: I loathe people who spread malicious gossip.
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Origin of loathe

before 900; Middle English loth(i)en, lath(i)en,Old English lāthian, derivative of lāthloath

OTHER WORDS FROM loathe

loather, nounun·loathed, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH loathe

loath, loathe , loathsome
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

LOATHE VS. LOATH

What’s the difference between loathe and loath?

Loathe is a verb that means to hate or feel extreme disgust toward, as in I loathe the way he treats his dog or My kids loathe broccoli. Loath is an adjective that means unwilling, reluctant, or disinclined, as in They are loath to get involved in such a messy situation. 

Loathe always rhymes with the verb clothe. Loath can be pronounced this way, but it can also rhyme with both.

Loath is only ever used as an adjective, and loathe is only ever used as a verb. Both words are generally negative, but loathe is much more negative. Loathe is also the more common of the two words.

The word loathsome is an adjective form of the verb loathe that means causing feelings of loathing—disgusting or revolting. You would describe someone you loathe as loathsome.

Loath is usually followed by the word to and a verb, as in I’m loath to drive that far.

To remember that the verb loathe ends with an e, remember that it means the same thing as hate, which also ends with an e.

Here’s an example of loath and loathe used correctly in a sentence.

Example: I’m loath to think about how much he must loathe me.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between loathe and loath.

Quiz yourself on loathe vs. loath!

Should loathe or loath be used in the following sentence?

He was _____ to be so blunt, but he felt it was necessary.

How to use loathe in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for loathe

loathe
/ (ləʊð) /

verb
(tr) to feel strong hatred or disgust for

Derived forms of loathe

loather, noun

Word Origin for loathe

Old English lāthiān, from loath
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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