Loathe Definition


Loathe Definition 

Loath comes from the Germanic and Old English word, lathian, which turned into the word loath.

Loath (without an e) is related to the word lothe (with an e).

Loath (no e) means reluctant or unwilling and comes from the Dutch word leeth, which originates from the German word leid.

The word loathe has two meanings; to really dislike something, to the point of being intolerant of it.

It means you are disgusted by something. This definition of loathe is by no means a casual word. In fact it is a very strong word.

There are few words that you can use to express disliking something they are much stronger, so be aware of that if you choose to use it. If you tell a friend that you loathe their cooking…..or their anything, they will probably be pretty offended.

It’s a pretty mean thing to say. Loathe is reserved for something you really really don’t like.

  • Our dog loathed taking baths, getting him into the tub was a nightmare.
  • He loathed working on weekends, he wanted that time to be spent relaxing or hanging out with friends.


Loathe can also refer to someone not wanting to do something, mostly because it is against their way of thinking. It simply means that someone absolutely does not want to do something.

This definition of loathe is not as strong as the previous definition. This is however a shorter and strong way of saying that one doesn’t want to do something. If one loathes doing something, they really don’t want to do it.

The real difference between the two definitions is that the previous definition speaking to one not liking something, while this definition speaks to one not wanting to do something.

  • He loathes cooperating with the investigation.
  • Kelly loathes admitting she’s wrong, she always has to be right.

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Self Loathing Definition 

A popular colocation for loathe is self loathing, which simply put means to hate yourself. Someone who has self loathing may genuinely hate themselves or, it can be used in a sarcastic more self deprecating way.

  • I’m concerned about the way she speaks about herself, it shows signs of self loathing.
  • He makes a lot of self loathing jokes, but don’t worry, he’s just kidding.

Loathe is often misspelled or confused with the word loath. As stated earlier they have similar origins, but loath means to be reluctant and unwilling, whereas loathe is a dislike of something or almost refusal to do something.

Loath, means someone may not want to do something, they may not be excited about it, but they don’t hate it.

  • I loath waking up early, but I have to do it.
  • The dog loathed going outside in the cold, he wanted to stay in to play.

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Loathe Synonym

There are many commonly used synonyms for loathe. These synonyms are helpful when one wishes to express a varying degree of not liking something or not wanting to do something.

As earlier stated loathe is such a strong word, that a less abrasive synonym is sometimes more appropriate.


Means to strongly dislike something. It tends to be a tense or passionate dislike for something or someone. It too is a strong word, however it is so commonly used that it doesn’t have the same caustic feel as loathe.

While saying one hates things is common, saying that you hate a person will come across as mean and hurtful.

  • I hated that movie, it was terrible.
  • Since Rachel said she hates my art, I’m not speaking to her.


Means to strongly dislike something and for the most part can be interchanged with hate. While the word is as equally strong as hate is, it’s used less often, so it packs more of a punch.

  • I detest brussel sprouts, I refuse to even try them.
  • She detests running.


Means to regard something with disgust and hatred, and is about as strong a word as loathe. When someone abhors something they really dislike it.

  • The little girl abhorred getting mud on her new dress.
  • He thought reality tv was crazy and aborhed being forced to watch it.

To have an aversion for something

Refers to having a strong dislike for something. When someone has an aversion to something it can also refer to them having a strong dislike towards doing something.

  • He has a strong aversion towards swimming after the accident.
  • She is so lazy. She seems to have an aversion for doing work.

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Loathe Antonym


Is defined as an intense feeling of affection. Love is the complete opposite of loathe. It is much stronger than liking something, and many would say it’s the strongest emotion a person can feel.

  • Over time the couple’s love for each other grew deeper.
  • The little boy loved the dog the second he saw him.


Means to regard someone with deep respect or approval. When someone admires another person they either want to be like them, or they see a quality in that person that they would like to have.

  • I admire your ability to speak in public.
  • All children admire their parents.

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