Definition of loath
: unwilling to do something contrary to one's ways of thinking : reluctant <She was loath to admit her mistakes.>
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.>
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 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.
Origin and Etymology of loath
Middle English loth loathsome, from Old English lāth; akin to Old High German leid loathsome, Old Irish lius loathing
First Known Use: 12th century
Synonym Discussion of loath
LOATH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of loath for English Language Learners
: not wanting or willing to do something
LOATH Defined for Kids
Definition of loath for Students
: not willing <He was loath to admit mistakes.>
Variants of loath
Seen and Heard
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