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Origin of loathing

First recorded in 1300–50, loathing is from the Middle English word lathynge. See loathe, -ing1
Related formsloath·ing·ly, adverbself-loath·ing, adjective, noun

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

Origin of loathe

before 900; Middle English loth(i)en, lath(i)en, Old English lāthian, derivative of lāth loath
Related formsloath·er, nounun·loathed, adjective
Can be confusedloath loathe loathsome

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for loathing


  1. abhorrence; disgust
Derived Formsloathingly, adverb


  1. (tr) to feel strong hatred or disgust for
Derived Formsloather, 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

Word Origin and History for loathing

"abhorrence," mid-14c., verbal noun from loathe.



Old English laðian "to hate, to be disgusted with," from lað "hostile" (see loath). Cognate with Old Saxon lethon, Old Norse leiða. Related: Loathed; loathing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper