loath

adjective
\ ˈlōth How to pronounce loath (audio) , ˈlōt͟h How to pronounce loath (audio) \
variants: or less commonly \ ˈlōth How to pronounce loath (audio) , ˈlōt͟h \ or loathe \ ˈlōt͟h How to pronounce loath (audio) , ˈlōth \

Definition of loath

: unwilling to do something contrary to one's ways of thinking : reluctant She was loath to admit her mistakes.

Other Words from loath

loathness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for loath

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for loath

disinclined, hesitant, reluctant, loath, averse mean lacking the will or desire to do something indicated. disinclined implies lack of taste for or inclination. disinclined to move again disinclined for reading hesitant implies a holding back especially through fear or uncertainty. hesitant about asking for a date reluctant implies a holding back through unwillingness. a reluctant witness loath implies hesitancy because of conflict with one's opinions, predilections, or liking. seems loath to trust anyone averse implies a holding back from or avoiding because of distaste or repugnance. averse to hard work not averse to an occasional drink

Did you know?

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 do record loathe (along with loth) as a variant spelling for the adjective, but at the same time indicate that the loath spelling is the most common one. The adjective and the verb both 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.

Loath vs. Loathe

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.

Examples of loath in a Sentence

She was loath to admit her mistakes. I was loath to accept his claim of having climbed Mount Everest.
Recent Examples on the Web Belarus was an important transit country for Russian gas exports to Europe, and Lukashenko knew Putin was loath to see political instability along the border. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2022 Having won the costly test of wills with Mr. Putin, the Saudi leadership is loath to upset an arrangement upon which its entire economic transformation is built. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Mar. 2022 So, physically numbed and loath to leave the effort, the stubborn tailback kept trying to pop his dislocated elbow back in place – to no avail. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 31 Mar. 2022 Their Republican colleagues seemed loath to join in during the first day of the Supreme Court nominee's confirmation hearings. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 21 Mar. 2022 Since then, political leaders have been loath to put in place and enforce restrictions. Marc Santora, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2022 In a game that Self has been loath to rewatch, the Wildcats raced to a 22-4 lead four years ago and cruised to a Final Four blowout en route to their third national title. Dave Skretta, chicagotribune.com, 3 Apr. 2022 In a game that Self has been loath to re-watch, the Wildcats raced to a 22-4 lead out of the gates four years ago and cruised to a Final Four blowout and eventually their third national championship. Dave Skretta, ajc, 3 Apr. 2022 In a game that Self has been loath to rewatch, the Wildcats raced to a 22-4 lead out of the gates four years ago and cruised to a Final Four blowout en route to their third national title. Dave Skretta, courant.com, 2 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'loath.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of loath

12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for loath

Middle English loth loathsome, from Old English lāth; akin to Old High German leid loathsome, Old Irish lius loathing

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Time Traveler for loath

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The first known use of loath was in the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near loath

loasa family

loath

loathe

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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Loath.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loath. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for loath

loath

adjective
variants: also loth \ ˈlōth , ˈlōt͟h \

Kids Definition of loath

: not willing He was loath to admit mistakes.

More from Merriam-Webster on loath

Nglish: Translation of loath for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of loath for Arabic Speakers

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