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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English lothsum, from Old English *lāþsum, from Proto-West Germanic *laiþasam, equivalent to loath +‎ -some. Cognate with Middle Low German lêtsam (arduous), German leidsam (sad, sorry).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈləʊð.səm/, /ˈləʊθ.səm/


loathsome (comparative more loathsome, superlative most loathsome)

  1. Highly offensive; abominable, sickening.
    • 1832, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Heath's Book of Beauty, 1833, The Enchantress, page 20:
      That grave but yesterday received one who was to have been his bride—his betrothed from childhood for whose sake he had been to far lands and gathered much wealth, but who had pined in his absence and died. He flung himself on the loathsome place, and the night-wind bore around the ravings of his despair.
    • 1891, Oscar Wilde, chapter XX, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, London, New York, N.Y., Melbourne, Vic.: Ward Lock & Co., →OCLC, page 334:
      Lying on the floor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was.

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