verb \ ˈlōt͟h \
|Updated on: 17 Jul 2018

Definition of loathe

loathed; loathing
: to dislike greatly and often with disgust or intolerance : detest



Examples of loathe in a Sentence

  1. In fact, he was an energetic walker his whole life, but he loathed fresh-air fiends and he was rather stuck on the idea of being dissolute. —Paul TherouxNew York Times Book Review21 Apr. 1991
  2. How I loathed the look of that type on my pages! Everything I wrote seemed, in that type, arrhythmic, dull, stupid. —Joseph EpsteinThe Middle of My Tether1983
  3. I loathed the job so much that I did it quickly, urgently, almost violently. —W. P. KinsellaShoeless Joe1982
  4. Pushing the table from him while he spoke, as though he loathed the sight of food, he encountered the watch: the hands of which were almost upon noon. —Charles DickensNicholas Nickleby1839
  5. They were rivals who truly loathed each other.

  6. I loathe having to do this.

  7. It was a habit his wife loathed.

Recent Examples of loathe from the Web

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

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.

Origin and Etymology of loathe

Middle English lothen, from Old English lāthian to dislike, be hateful, from lāth

loathe Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of loathe

hate, detest, abhor, abominate, loathe mean to feel strong aversion or intense dislike for. hate implies an emotional aversion often coupled with enmity or malice.
    • hated the enemy with a passion
detest suggests violent antipathy.
    • detests cowards
abhor implies a deep often shuddering repugnance.
    • a crime abhorred by all
abominate suggests strong detestation and often moral condemnation.
    • abominates all forms of violence
loathe implies utter disgust and intolerance.
    • loathed the mere sight of them

LOATHE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of loathe for English Language Learners

  • : to hate (someone or something) very much

LOATHE Defined for Kids


verb \ ˈlōt͟h \

Definition of loathe for Students

loathed; loathing
: to dislike greatly

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