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towel

[tou-uh l, toul] /ˈtaʊ əl, taʊl/
noun
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), toweled, toweling or (especially British) towelled, towelling.
2.
to wipe or dry with a towel.
Idioms
3.
throw in the towel, Informal. to concede defeat; give up; yield:
He vowed he would never throw in the towel.
Origin
1250-1300
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for throw in the towel

towel

/ˈtaʊəl/
noun
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
3.
throw in the towel, See throw in (sense 4)
verb (transitive) -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
4.
to dry or wipe with a towel
5.
(Austral, slang) often foll by up. to assault or beat (a person)
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for throw in the towel

towel

n.

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.

v.

1836, from towel (n.). Related: Towelled; towelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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throw in the towel in Culture

throw in the towel definition


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.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for throw in the towel

throw in the towel

verb phrase

To concede defeat; give up; fold

[1940s+; fr the signal of surrender given by a defeated boxer's manager or associate when he tosses a sponge or a towel in the air or into the ring; found by 1960 in the form throw up the sponge]


towel

Related Terms

throw in the towel


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with throw in the towel
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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11
10
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