loath

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

Definition of loath

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

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Other Words from loath

loathness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for loath

Synonyms

cagey (also cagy), disinclined, dubious, hesitant, indisposed, reluctant, reticent

Antonyms

disposed, inclined

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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

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

Filmmaker Gotham Chopra was granted sweeping access to Brady in an array of intimate settings that the inscrutable signal-caller would normally be loath to allow. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, "Tom Brady Gave a Filmmaker Unusual Access to His Private Life," 9 Jan. 2018 Was the pope, someone who faced accusations of supporting a violent regime as a cardinal in Argentina, loath to give into public pressure? Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "Pope Francis, After Criticism, Sends Sex Crimes Investigator to Chile," 30 Jan. 2018 For Microsoft the deal helps grow its cloud-computing business, which lags behind Amazon’s but has found willing customers like Kroger and Walmart, which are loath to line the pockets of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Dina Bass, The Seattle Times, "Kroger, Microsoft test futuristic grocery store in Redmond. Amazon, take note.," 7 Jan. 2019 Perhaps most importantly, the introduction of Stories seemed to galvanize a new spirit of experimentation at Instagram, which had generally been loath to tamper with its original photos-plus-filters format. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom on winning the Stories war," 2 Aug. 2018 At the time, many federal agencies with cybersecurity functions, including the FBI and the NSA, were loath to give up their responsibilities. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: 'If you don’t have a brand, you’re not in the game.' New DHS cyber chief wants to rename his agency," 14 June 2018 Banks, which charge fixed fees for mortgage services, often can’t make a profit on these transactions and are loath to take part in these transactions. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How a Midwest startup generator bursts the Bay Area tech bubble and solves real problems," 12 Dec. 2018 Iran is loath to see an expansion of Turkish and U.S. influence in the region, and argues that the West fueled jihadis with past support for the Syrian opposition. Angela Charlton, The Seattle Times, "Syria: Everyone else’s battleground, in both war and peace," 25 Sep. 2018 Like Facebook, Google is loath to declare any topic off-limits to its user base. Casey Newton, The Verge, "What YouTube could teach Facebook about conspiracies," 24 July 2018

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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near loath

loasa

Loasaceae

loasa family

loath

loathe

loathful

loathing

Statistics for loath

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for loath

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

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More Definitions for loath

loath

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of loath

: not wanting or willing to do something

loath

adjective
variants: also loth \ ˈlōth , ˈlōt͟h \

Kids Definition of loath

: not willing He was loath to admit mistakes.

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More from Merriam-Webster on loath

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with loath

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for loath

Spanish Central: Translation of loath

Nglish: Translation of loath for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of loath for Arabic Speakers

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