Distinguishing Loath & Loathe

The terms loath and loathe, though sounding and appearing similar, hold different meanings and are often confused. Loath functions as an adjective, meaning unwilling or reluctant, while loathe is a verb signifying intense dislike or disgust.

Key Takeaways

  • Loath is an adjective meaning unwilling or reluctant.
  • Loathe is a verb meaning to feel intense dislike or disgust.
  • The pronunciation of loath and loathe differ, with loath ending in a hard ‘th’ sound and loathe ending in a soft ‘th’ sound.

Understanding Loath

The term loath, an adjective, is equivalent to being unwilling, reluctant, or disinclined. Sometimes written as loth, this adjective is only used in a predicative position. For instance, “He was loath to leave them alone,” means he was reluctant to leave them alone.

Meaning of Loathe

The term loathe is a verb that means to feel intense dislike or disgust. It is somewhat similar to hate, although some consider it more intense than hate. Examples include “He was a vegetarian; he loathed meat,” and “The little girl loathes frogs.”

Loath vs. Loathe

The main difference between loath and loathe lies in their meaning and parts of speech. Loath means reluctant or unwilling and is an adjective, while loathe means to feel intense dislike or disgust and is a noun. Their pronunciation also differs, with loath ending in a hard ‘th’ sound and loathe ending in a soft ‘th’ sound.

Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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