- 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
Related Words for throw in the towelcancel, surrender, renege, acquiesce, quit, abdicate, retire, terminate, leave, abandon, defer, agree, acknowledge, perish, wilt, buckle, yield, bow, cease, capitulate
- 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 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.
throw in the towel
To quit in defeat. The phrase comes from boxing, in which a fighter indicates surrender by throwing a towel into the ring: “After losing the election, he threw in the towel on his political career.”
see crying towel; throw in the sponge (towel).