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Key Difference – Loath vs Loathe

Although the two terms loath and loathe have different meanings, many people confuse them due to their similar sounds and spellings. It is important to understand the difference between loath and loathe in order to use it correctly. Loath is an adjective equivalent to unwilling or reluctant. Loathe is a verb which means to feel intense dislike or disgust. This is the key difference between loath and loathe.

What Does Loath Mean?

Loath is an adjective meaning reluctant, unwilling or disinclined. Loath is also sometimes written as loth. This adjective is only used in the predicative position. For example,

He was loath to leave them alone. – He was reluctant to leave them alone.

She is a miser who is loath to spend money.

I was loath to join them because I didn’t know them well.

He admitted that it was a job he was initially loath to take.

The media is loath to disclose the real information about the story.

He was loath to talk to the media without president’s permission.

He is loath to take medicine.

He is loath to take medicine.

What Does Loathe Mean?

Loathe is a verb meaning to feel intense dislike or disgust. It is somewhat similar to hate although some consider it more intense than hate.


He was a vegetarian; he loathed meat.

The little girl loathes frogs.

I loathed him on sight.

He loathed everyone and everything when he was drunk.

He valued his privacy and loathed the paparazzi.

The students loathed the cruel principal.

Loathe is a regular verb and the past tense and the past participle of loathe is loathed. The noun loather is also derived from the verb loathe. Loather is a person who hates.


Loath and loathe can be confused even in speech since the pronunciation of these two words are somewhat similar.  Loath ends in a hard ‘th’ sound as in both or oath whereas loathe ends in a soft ‘th’ sound as in betroth.

Key Difference - Loath vs Loathe

His dog loathes cats.

What is the difference between Loath and Loathe?


Loath means reluctant or unwilling.

Loathe means to feel intense dislike or disgust.

Parts of Speech:

Loath is an adjective (predicative).

Loathe is a noun.


Loath ends in a hard ‘th’ sound.

Loathe ends in a soft ‘th’ sound.