Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


verb \ˈlōth\

Simple Definition of loathe

  • : to hate (someone or something) very much

Full Definition of loathe


  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to dislike greatly and often with disgust or intolerance :  detest

loath·er noun

Examples of loathe

  1. In fact, he was an energetic walker his whole life, but he loathed fresh-air fiends and he was rather stuck on the idea of being dissolute. —Paul Theroux, New York Times Book Review, 21 Apr. 1991

  2. How I loathed the look of that type on my pages! Everything I wrote seemed, in that type, arrhythmic, dull, stupid. —Joseph Epstein, The Middle of My Tether,1983

  3. I loathed the job so much that I did it quickly, urgently, almost violently. —W. P. Kinsella, Shoeless Joe, 1982

  4. Pushing the table from him while he spoke, as though he loathed the sight of food, he encountered the watch: the hands of which were almost upon noon. —Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, 1839

  5. They were rivals who truly loathed each other.

  6. I loathe having to do this.

  7. It was a habit his wife loathed.

Origin of loathe

Middle English lothen, from Old English lāthian to dislike, be hateful, from lāth

First Known Use: 12th century

Synonym Discussion of loathe

hate, detest, abhor, abominate, loathe mean to feel strong aversion or intense dislike for. hate implies an emotional aversion often coupled with enmity or malice <hated the enemy with a passion>. detest suggests violent antipathy <detests cowards>. abhor implies a deep often shuddering repugnance <a crime abhorred by all>. abominate suggests strong detestation and often moral condemnation <abominates all forms of violence>. loathe implies utter disgust and intolerance <loathed the mere sight of them>.

Rhymes with loathe

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up loathe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

2.2 pounds 100 pounds 196.5 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.