loath and loathe - the difference

To loathe means to hate.
Loath means unwilling.

Writers occasionally confuse loath and loathe.  Their meanings are related as they both relate to not liking something.


Loathe is a verb meaning to hate. In fact, many consider it even stronger than to hate.  It can also be translated as to hate intensely.


She will eat just about anything, but she loathes celery.

I loved the Army as an institution and loathed every single thing it required me to do.


Loath is an adjective meaning unwilling.


She is loath to join because her friends play for a rival team.

Magazines and newspapers are loath to discuss these types of deals

At daybreak, when loathe to rise, have this thought in thy mind: I am rising for a man's work.
(should be loath)
Select the correct version:



People confuse loathe and loath even when talking. Note:

  • Loathe ends in a soft th sound. It rhymes with betroth.
  • Loath ends in a hard th sound. It rhymes with the oath or both.

See also:

What are adjectives?
What are verbs?
List of easily confused words

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