\ˈlōt͟h \
loathed; loathing

Definition of loathe 

transitive verb

: to dislike greatly and often with disgust or intolerance : detest

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Other Words from loathe

loather noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for loathe


abhor, abominate, despise, detest, execrate, hate



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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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 loathe in a Sentence

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 Theroux, New York Times Book Review, 21 Apr. 1991 How I loathed the look of that type on my pages! Everything I wrote seemed, in that type, arrhythmic, dull, stupid. — Joseph Epstein, The Middle of My Tether, 1983 I loathed the job so much that I did it quickly, urgently, almost violently. — W. P. Kinsella, Shoeless Joe, 1982 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 Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, 1839 They were rivals who truly loathed each other. I loathe having to do this. It was a habit his wife loathed.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Its people were widely loathed and two of its conquering powers, the Soviet Union and France, were counting on reparations from their former Nazi enemy to help rebuild their own economies. Timothy Naftali, New York Times, "Why American Pragmatists Saved Postwar Europe," 13 Apr. 2018 The fundamental challenge is that Europeans loathe U.S. President Donald Trump. Barry Mccaffrey, Fortune, "I’m a Four-Star General. I’m Worried About America’s Decaying Relationship With Europe.," 4 June 2018 Godwin was a distant father, whose remarriage when Mary was 4 to a Mrs. Clairmont, a woman his daughter came to loathe, left Mary feeling sidelined. Elizabeth Lowry, WSJ, "The Mother of Frankenstein," 1 June 2018 That beautiful bohemian beach paradise that everyone loves to loathe. Christina Pérez, Vogue, "Beautiful Bohemian Beach Getaways That Are Not Tulum," 13 Apr. 2018 There are couples to root for and couples to loathe. refinery29.com, "13 Reasons Why," 29 May 2018 His story: Famed feline Garfield has loved lasagna and loathed Mondays from a home base of Muncie, Ind., for 40 years. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "The end of ‘The Middle’ and 20 fictional characters who put Indiana on the map," 22 May 2018 But Saban, who seems to loathe the idea of a quarterback controversy, won't be able to avoid questions about the competition between the Tagovailoa, the gunslinger, and Hurts, the athletic game manager. Rainer Sabin, AL.com, "Five storylines to watch during Alabama spring drills," 19 Mar. 2018 The people who used to admire him — the working people of New York — now loathe him. refinery29.com, "Billions Season 3, Episode 10 Recap: "Texas Roadkill Chili"," 28 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of loathe

12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for loathe

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

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Dictionary Entries near loathe


loasa family






Statistics for loathe

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for loathe

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

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More Definitions for loathe



English Language Learners Definition of loathe

: to hate (someone or something) very much


\ˈlōt͟h \
loathed; loathing

Kids Definition of loathe

: to dislike greatly

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Comments on loathe

What made you want to look up loathe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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