If it is confusing and you can’t seem to figure out the difference in the meanings of two exactly same words used in the above sentence i.e. loathed, worry not. We are here to help. Today we will discuss about a pair of homophones loath and loathe. The above sentence used the past tense of both loath and loathe, and unfortunately for beginners of English, they are exactly similar.
Loath and loathe are a pair of homophones with same pronunciation, almost similar spellings and entirely different meanings. This article will throw light upon the meanings, usage and examples of both of these words.
Loath originated from Old English lāth ‘hostile, spiteful’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch leed, German Leid ‘sorrow’. Loathe originated from Old English lāthian, of Germanic origin and is related to loath.
Loath as an adjective:
In English language, loath without e is used as an adjective where it means unwilling or reluctant. For example, you might say that you are loath to go spend time with your mean boss outside work. It has synonyms like disinclined, ill-disposed, not in the mood; hesitant; against, averse, opposed, resistant, hostile, antagonistic and resisting etc.
Loathe as verb:
Loathe with an e at the end is used in English language as a verb where it means to feel intense dislike or disgust for someone or something. For example, if you have a mean boss, you might say that you loathe him. It has synonyms like hate, detest, abhor, despise, abominate, dislike greatly, execrate.
She loathed him on sight.
I loathe Valentine’s Day. [The Trentonian]
Loath or loathe:
Loath and loathe are both related to each other as both originated from Germanic origins. When you are unwilling to do something, you are loathing it (without an e). When you hate something with all your heart and soul, be it a person, you loathe it (with an e). Remember this by noticing that loathe and hate both have an e at their ends.
We hope you weren’t loathed to read this article.