AskDefine | Define loathing

Dictionary Definition

loathing n : hate coupled with disgust [syn: abhorrence, abomination, detestation, execration, odium]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Sense of revulsion, distaste, detestation, extreme hatred or dislike.
    The man's loathing of his former friend was palpable; you could feel how much he now hated him.


sense of revulsion, distaste, detestation, extreme hatred or dislike


  1. present participle of loathe

Extensive Definition

Hatred is a word that describes intense feelings of dislike. It can be used in a wide variety of contexts, from hatred of vegetables to hatred of other people. Prejudice or bigotry against an entire class of people (e.g. racism) are examples of hatred.
Philosophers have offered many influencial definitions of hatred. Rene Descartes viewed hate as an awareness that something is bad, combined with an urge to withdraw from it. Baruch Spinoza defined hate as a type of pain that is due to an external cause. Aristotle viewed hate as a desire for the annihilation of an object that is incurable by time. Finally, David Hume believed that hate is an irreducible feeling that is not definable at all.
In psychology, Sigmund Freud defined hate as an ego state that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness. In a more contemporary definition, the Penguin Dictionary of Psychology defines hate as a "deep, enduring, intense emotion expressing animosity, anger, and hostility towards a person, group, or object." Because hatred is believed to be long-lasting, many psychologists consider it to be more of an attitude or disposition than a (temporary) emotional state.

Suggested reading

  • The Psychology of Hate by Robert Sternberg (Ed.)
  • Hatred: The Psychological Descent into Violence by Willard Gaylin
  • Why We Hate by Jack Levin
  • The Psychology of Good and Evil : Why Children, Adults, and Groups Help and Harm Others by Ervin Staub
  • Prisoners of Hate: The Cognitive Basis of Anger, Hostility, and Violence by Aaron T. Beck
  • Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing by James Waller


loathing in Arabic: كراهية
loathing in Breton: Kasoni
loathing in Catalan: Odi
loathing in Danish: Had
loathing in German: Hass
loathing in Estonian: Vihkamine
loathing in Spanish: Odio
loathing in Esperanto: Malamo
loathing in Basque: Gorroto
loathing in French: Haine
loathing in Ido: Odio
loathing in Indonesian: Benci
loathing in Inuktitut: ᐆᒥᓱᑦᑐᖅ/uumisuttuq
loathing in Icelandic: Hatur
loathing in Italian: Odio (sentimento)
loathing in Hebrew: שנאה
loathing in Lithuanian: Neapykanta
loathing in Hungarian: Gyűlölet
loathing in Dutch: Haat
loathing in Japanese: 憎悪
loathing in Norwegian: Hat
loathing in Polish: Nienawiść
loathing in Portuguese: Ódio
loathing in Russian: Ненависть
loathing in Simple English: Hate
loathing in Finnish: Viha
loathing in Swedish: Hat
loathing in Yiddish: האס
loathing in Chinese: 怨恨

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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