Definition of loath
- She was loath to admit her mistakes.
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She was loath to admit her mistakes.
I was loath to accept his claim of having climbed Mount Everest.
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Many usage commentators point out that the spelling of loath the adjective is distinct from loathe, the verb that means "to dislike greatly." Merriam-Webster dictionaries record loathe (along with loth) as a variant spelling for the adjective, at the same time indicating that the spelling with an e is not as common as the form without it. Both words hark back to Old English, and the e ending in each has come and gone over the centuries - but if you want to avoid the ire of those who like to keep the language tidy, stick with loath for the adjective and loathe for the verb.
First Known Use: 12th centurySee Words from the same year
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