- an absorbent cloth or paper for wiping and drying something wet, as one for the hands, face, or body after washing or bathing.
- to wipe or dry with a towel.
- throw in the towel, Informal. to concede defeat; give up; yield: He vowed he would never throw in the towel.
Origin of towel
Examples from the Web for towel
“They would bend my head back, put a towel over my face and pour water over the towel,” Harrison was quoted as saying.The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built
December 12, 2014
Inside the bag, a second body was naked, wrapped in a towel, and almost decapitated.Hong Kong’s High-Flying British Psycho Killer Suspect
Nico Hines, Tom Sykes
November 3, 2014
The cyclist had turned the heads of the women in the dorm on his way back from the showers, wearing just a towel.
Robin Williams was on his way to the showers down the hall, wearing a white t-shirt and a towel over his shoulder.
A naked dancer held a towel around his waist as he slicks back his hair in the ladies toilets.Inside London's Underground Burlesque and Fetish Scene
August 12, 2014
He had as little occasion for a towel as Jonas had for a start.
Mr Sweedlepipe turned aside to the towel, and wiped his eyes with it.
Briskly rubbing his gray head with a towel, he was eyeing my evening clothes.The Harbor
"Damn, my hands are wet," he said aloud, and picked up a towel.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
Joe answered with a grating laugh, and then with a burr he applied a towel to his face.The Shadow of a Crime
- a square or rectangular piece of absorbent cloth or paper used for drying the body
- a similar piece of cloth used for drying plates, cutlery, etc
- throw in the towel See throw in (def. 4)
- to dry or wipe with a towel
- (often foll by up) Australian slang to assault or beat (a person)
Word Origin and History for towel
late 13c., from Old French toaille (12c.), from Frankish *thwahlja, from Proto-Germanic *thwakhlijon (cf. Old Saxon thwahila, Middle Dutch dwale "towel," Dutch dwaal "altar cloth," Old High German dwehila "towel," German dialectal Zwehle "napkin"); related to German zwagen, Old English þwean "to wash." Spanish toalla, Italian tovaglia are Germanic loan-words.
1836, from towel (n.). Related: Towelled; towelling.