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loath

[lohth, lohth] /loʊθ, loʊð/
adjective
1.
unwilling; reluctant; disinclined; averse:
to be loath to admit a mistake.
Also, loth.
Origin
900
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.
Synonyms
See reluctant.
Antonyms
eager.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for loathest

loath

/ləʊθ/
adjective
1.
(usually foll by to) reluctant or unwilling
2.
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 loathest

loath

adj.

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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