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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English lothli, loothly, from Old English lāþlīc (loathly, hateful, horrible, repulsive, unpleasant), equivalent to loath +‎ -ly.


loathly (comparative loathlier, superlative loathliest)

  1. loathsome; hideous
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene Volume 1[1]:
      Her loathly visage viewing with disdaine, Eftsoones I thought her such, as she me told, And would haue kild her; but with faigned paine, The false witch did my wrathfull hand with-hold; So left her, where she now is turnd to treen mould.
    • 1885, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King[2]:
      And Merlin answered, 'Overquick art thou To catch a loathly plume fallen from the wing Of that foul bird of rapine whose whole prey Is man's good name: he never wronged his bride.
    • 1922, T.S. Stribling, Birthright[3]:
      This unremitting insistence on his color, this continual shunting him into obscure and filthy ways, gradually gave Peter a loathly sensation.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English *lothli, loothly, from Old English lāþlīċe (hatefully), equivalent to loath +‎ -ly.


loathly (comparative loathlier, superlative loathliest)

  1. In a loathsome manner; disgustingly.
  2. Unwillingly; reluctantly.