loath

play
adjective \ˈlōth, ˈlōth\
variants: or less commonly

\ˈlōth, ˈlōth\ or

loathe

play \ˈlōth, ˈlōth\

Definition of loath

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

loathness

noun

Examples of loath in a sentence

  1. She was loath to admit her mistakes.

  2. <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

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 Defined for English Language Learners

loath

play
adjective \ˈlōth, ˈlōth\

Definition of loath for English Language Learners

  • : not wanting or willing to do something


LOATH Defined for Kids

loath

play
adjective \ˈlōth, ˈlōth\
variants: also

loth

\ˈlōth, ˈlōth\

Definition of loath for Students

  1. :  not willing <He was loath to admit mistakes.>



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