Writers occasionally confuse loath and loathe. Their meanings are related as they both relate to not liking something.

Loathe

Loathe is a verb meaning to hate. In fact, many consider it even stronger than to hate.  It can also be translated as to hate intensely.

Examples:
  • She will eat just about anything, but she loathes celery.
  • I loved the Army as an institution and loathed every single thing it required me to do.

Loath

Loath is an adjective meaning unwilling.

Examples:
  • She is loath to join because her friends play for a rival team.
  • Magazines and newspapers are loath to discuss these types of deals publicly.
  • At daybreak, when loathe to rise, have this thought in thy mind: I am rising for a man's work.
  • (should be loath)

A Quick Test

EVEN IN SPEECH

People confuse loathe and loath even when talking. Note:
  • Loathe ends in a soft th sound. It rhymes with betroth.
  • Loath ends in a hard th sound. It rhymes with the oath or both.