adjective[predic., with infinitive]
- Reluctant; unwilling: I was loath to leaveMore example sentences
- It made victims reluctant to prosecute, and juries loath to convict.
- And among other things the poor pigeons, I perceive, were loth to leave their houses, but hovered about the balconies till they were some of them burned and fell down.
- The ship now needs to be sold, but I would be loth to see it go through the courts as in that case other parties would benefit - and not the men.
Old English lāth 'hostile, spiteful', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch leed, German Leid 'sorrow'.
Although different in meaning, loath and loathe are often confused. Loath is an adjective (also spelled loth) meaning ‘reluctant or unwilling’, as in I was loath to leave , whereas loathe is a verb meaning ‘feel intense dislike or disgust for’, as in she loathed him on sight .