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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 of towel
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

toweling

or (especially British) towelling

[tou-uh-ling, tou-ling] /ˈtaʊ ə lɪŋ, ˈtaʊ lɪŋ/
noun
1.
a narrow fabric of cotton or linen, in plain, twill, or huck weave, used for hand towels or dishtowels.
Origin
1575-85; towel + -ing1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for towelling
Historical Examples
  • And Mrs. Brill surveyed in amazement the back of the darn, which looked like Turkish towelling.

    Ghetto Tragedies Israel Zangwill
  • "I don't think I'd go beyond the point there," she said as her towelling fell to her feet.

    The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
  • Several study tables had been united for the supper, the cracks concealed by Japanese towelling contributed by Otoyo.

  • His head was soon in a basin of water, and out of it again, and staring at her through a storm of towelling.

    Our Mutual Friend Charles Dickens
  • As he now appeared in his doorway, towelling his hands, Wemmick got on his great-coat and stood by to snuff out the candles.

    Great Expectations Charles Dickens
  • I was in this place having a wash down and towelling vigorously when I heard the steward talking to the cook outside the porthole.

  • She rose from the couch, her Turkish towelling drapery flowing far behind her small figure.

    The Mystery of a Turkish Bath E.M. Gollan (AKA Rita)
  • Their door was open and there was Mademoiselle in her little alpaca dressing-jacket, towelling her head.

    Pointed Roofs Dorothy Richardson
  • From a two yard length of towelling, cut off a strip ten inches long, which will be used for the waistband.

  • The chief industries are the manufacture of bed and table linen, towelling and woollen cloth, shipbuilding and flax-spinning.

British Dictionary definitions for towelling

towelling

/ˈtaʊəlɪŋ/
noun
1.
an absorbent fabric, esp with a nap, used for making towels, bathrobes, etc

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 towelling

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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Slang definitions & phrases for towelling

tourist trap

noun phrase

A a place that attracts and exploits tourists: Manchester, Vermont, is a tourist trap (1939+)

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 towelling
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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13
17
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