[ tou-uhl, toul ]
See synonyms for: toweltoweledtowelingtowelled on

  1. an absorbent cloth or paper for wiping and drying something wet, as one for the hands, face, or body after washing or bathing.

verb (used with object),tow·eled, tow·el·ing or (especially British) tow·elled, tow·el·ling.
  1. to wipe or dry with a towel.

Idioms about towel

  1. throw in the towel, Informal. to concede defeat; give up; yield: He vowed he would never throw in the towel.

Origin of towel

1250–1300; Middle English (noun) <Old French toaille cloth for washing or wiping <West Germanic *thwahliō (>Old High German dwahilla, akin to dwahal bath); cognate with Gothic thwahl, thwēal washing

Words Nearby towel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use towel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for towel


/ (ˈtaʊəl) /

  1. a square or rectangular piece of absorbent cloth or paper used for drying the body

  2. a similar piece of cloth used for drying plates, cutlery, etc

  1. throw in the towel See throw in (def. 4)

verb-els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled (tr)
  1. to dry or wipe with a towel

  2. (often foll by up) Australian slang to assault or beat (a person)

Origin of towel

C13: from Old French toaille, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German dwahal bath, Old Saxon twahila towel, Gothic thwahan to wash

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with towel


see crying towel; throw in the sponge (towel).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.