9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[lohth, lohth] /loʊθ, loʊð/
unwilling; reluctant; disinclined; averse:
to be loath to admit a mistake.
Also, loth.
Origin of loath
before 900; Middle English loth, lath, Old English lāth hostile, hateful; cognate with Dutch leed, German leid sorry, Old Norse leithr hateful
Related forms
loathness, noun
overloath, adjective
unloath, adjective
unloathly, adverb
Can be confused
loath, loathe, loathsome.
See reluctant.
eager. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for loath
  • He noted, however, that the team was loath to damage an intact amphora.
  • Most cities are loath to let you remove designated parkway trees.
  • And since no one wants to be penny-less, they will be loath to withdraw everything.
  • Workers are loath to accept that maintaining conditions is beyond the gift of a private employer to guarantee.
  • Moreover, television is run by executives who are loath to change lucrative business models built over decades.
  • German companies in the past were loath to spend money on advertising, instead reserving their funds for product development.
  • Although the press is loath to admit it, a disciplined campaign can drive a message and thereby shape how it is covered.
  • Many are loath to put them on public display, because reputation doesn't necessarily align with results.
  • Short of unimpeachable exculpatory evidence, prosecutors are loath to back away from an indictment, much less a conviction.
  • Indeed, many physicians are loath to ascribe infection to a particular uniform.
British Dictionary definitions for loath


(usually foll by to) reluctant or unwilling
nothing loath, willing
Derived Forms
loathness, lothness, noun
Word Origin
Old English lāth (in the sense: hostile); related to Old Norse leithr
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for loath

Old English lað "hated; hateful; hostile; repulsive," from Proto-Germanic *laithaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian leth "loathsome," Old Norse leiðr "hateful, hostile, loathed;" Middle Dutch lelijc, Dutch leelijk "ugly;" Old High German leid "sorrowful, hateful, offensive, grievous," German Leid "sorrow;" French laid "ugly," from Frankish *laid), from PIE root *leit- "to detest."

Weakened meaning "averse, disinclined" is attested from late 14c. Loath to depart, a line from some long-forgotten song, is recorded since 1580s as a generic term expressive of any tune played at farewells, the sailing of a ship, etc. Related: Loathness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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