loath

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See also: loathe

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From loth, from Middle English loth (disinclined"; "loathsome), from Old English lāþ (loathsome", "evil)

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

loath (comparative loather, superlative loathest)

  1. unwilling, reluctant; averse, disinclined
    I was loath to return to the office without the Henderson file.
    • 1911, Jack London, The Whale Tooth
      The frizzle-headed man-eaters were loath to leave their fleshpots so long as the harvest of human carcases was plentiful. Sometimes, when the harvest was too plentiful, they imposed on the missionaries by letting the word slip out that on such a day there would be a killing and a barbecue.
  2. (obsolete) hostile, angry, loathsome, unpleasant

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often confused in meaning and pronunciation with loathe, a related transitive verb.
  • This spelling is about four times as common as "loth" in the UK and fifty times as common in the US.

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