(Old English: lab; Middle English lathian)

loath (adjective), loather, loathest
1. A reference to being reluctant, unwilling, or disinclined: Ted had a loath attitude about accepting a new job in another part of his city.
2. Etymology: from Old English lathian, "to be hateful".
loathe (verb), loathed, loathing
To feel a strong dislike and disgust for something or someone; to abhor; to hate; to detest: Mildred loathed seeing any cockroaches in her apartment.
loathingly (adjective), more loathingly, most loathingly
Relating to negative opinions about certain situations: Some citizens are loathingly concerned about public officials who are corrupt and dishonest.
loathsome (adjective), more loathsome, most loathsome
Descriptive of something that is very offensive, sickening, and abominable: The official of the country claimed to have a loathsome or negative feeling about accepting bribes; however, he took them anyway.
Pertaining to being repulsive or detestable about something.
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loathsomeness (s) (noun) (sometimes, loathsomenesses (pl)
Abominable, repugnant, obnoxious: Max expressed his loathsomeness for the lies that his colleague told about his co-workers.
loath, loathe, loathing

There is a difference of degree or feeling regarding the adjective loath and the verb and the noun forms of this word.

If a person is loath to do something, he or she is hesitant, reluctant, or unwilling. A stronger element of intense dislike or hatred is found in the verb loahe and the noun loathing

The historical meaning that was common to all three involves words meaning "hatred,"; however, there was a development in which the meaning of the adjective loath was moderated.

Loathsome maintains the original meaning and is synonymous with "repulsive, disgusting," or "hateful."

Based on information from Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage, Second Edition, page 360, by William and Mary Morris; Harper & Row, Publishers, New York.