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Alternative formsEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English lothli, loothly, from Old English lāþlīċ (loathly, hateful, horrible, repulsive, unpleasant); equivalent to loath +‎ -ly.


loathly (comparative loathlier, superlative loathliest)

  1. Loathsome; hideous.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Volume 1[1]:
      Her loathly viſage viewing with diſdaine, / Eftſoones I thought her ſuch, as ſhe me told, / And would haue kild her; but with faigned paine, / The falſe witch did my wrathfull hand with-hold; / So left her, where ſhe now is turnd to treen mould.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene i], page 14:
      Pro. Then, as my gueſt, and thine owne acquiſition / Worthily purchas'd, take my daughter : But / If thou do'ſt breake her Virgin-knot, before / All ſanctimonious ceremonies may / With full and holy right, be miniſtred, / No ſweet aſperſion ſhall the heauens let fall / To make this contract grow; but barraine hate, / Sower-ey'd diſdaine, and diſcord ſhall beſtrew / The vnion of your bed, with weedes ſo loathly / That you ſhall hate it both : Therefore take heede, / As Hymens Lamps ſhall light you.
    • 1885, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King[2]:
      And Merlin answered, 'Overquick art thou / To catch a loathly plume fallen from the wing / Of that foul bird of rapine whose whole prey / Is man's good name: he never wronged his bride.
    • 1922, T.S. Stribling, Birthright[3]:
      This unremitting insistence on his color, this continual shunting him into obscure and filthy ways, gradually gave Peter a loathly sensation.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English *lothli, loothly, from Old English lāþlīċe (hatefully), from lāþlīċ +‎ -e (adverbial suffix); equivalent to loath +‎ -ly.


loathly (comparative loathlier, superlative loathliest)

  1. In a loathsome manner; disgustingly.
  2. Unwillingly; reluctantly.