Definition of towel in English:

towel

noun

  • A piece of thick absorbent cloth or paper used for drying oneself or wiping things dry.

    • ‘She suddenly felt a thick wad of paper towels shoved into her hand.’
    • ‘If water beads up around your fingertip when you press on the paper towel, the towel is too wet.’
    • ‘She wiped up the beer with paper towels, swept the dirt out onto the porch.’
    • ‘Use your bath towels and wash cloths only once, and then wash them.’
    • ‘She turned around to pick up the paper towels and wipe it off.’
    • ‘After doing several areas, dry off excess moisture with soft absorbent cloths or towels, which can be laundered and reused.’
    • ‘I pulled a few paper towels from the dispenser and proceeded to wipe down the bench.’
    • ‘Flat leaves work best: If necessary, press them between paper towels in a thick book a few days before using.’
    • ‘Wipe down work surfaces with paper towels or disposable cloths.’
    • ‘Piece by piece they were trying to clean the pocketbooks with paper towels.’
    • ‘To add a sheen, polish the eggs with a paper towel or cloth wetted with vegetable oil.’
    • ‘She grabbed brown paper towels from her desk and started wiping off Ellen's dress.’
    • ‘Using a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe the surface dry prevents streaking.’
    • ‘Wipe windows with lintless cloth, paper towels or crumpled newspapers.’
    • ‘Use a dust pan and brush for the larger pieces, damp paper towels or cloths for smaller slivers.’
    • ‘For this you'll use a very little colour and you'll fill the brush with paint and then wipe most of it off on a paper towel.’
    • ‘The bell finally rang and Kate stood up from the floor wiping her eyes and blowing her nose with paper towels.’
    • ‘Dab out excess water on a paper towel and twist sponge as you apply the color to the page.’
    • ‘With the final paper towels, we wiped the floor clean one last time.’
    • ‘Having plenty of paper towels or cut pieces of old cloth towels near the buckets helps with the hand-drying process.’
    rag, dishcloth, floorcloth, wipe, sponge, duster
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Wipe or dry (a person or thing) with a towel.

    [with object and complement] ‘she toweled her hair dry’
    [no object] ‘quickly we'd towel off and dress for dinner’
    • ‘So this most compulsive of fiddlers will hope to continue tying and re-tying his laces and towelling his face well into the final week.’
    • ‘It felt strangely comforting to towel off and put my worn, old, casual clothes on.’
    • ‘When he stepped out of the shower and started to towel off, he heard Jim hang up the phone.’
    • ‘She smiled to herself as she stepped out of the shower and began to towel off.’
    • ‘Scott turned off the water, which had started to get cold anyway, and started to towel off.’
    • ‘After she towelled herself dry, Lori helped her set her hair in curlers.’
    • ‘Rain was sweeping in on the stage, and he got soaked, but he just towelled himself down.’
    • ‘I came home, towelled myself dry, and sat close by my big kitchen radiator sipping a large mug of steaming hot coffee in an attempt to get warm.’
    • ‘The two headed to their sides of the arena to towel off and take long drinks from canteens of flavored water.’
    • ‘She wiped off any lingering raindrops on her face, toweling her hair and dress lightly, and placing her handbag next to her coat on the floor.’
    • ‘I yelled as the freezing water soaked me, and I hastily scrambled out, toweling myself dry.’
    • ‘The pair then jog back up to the beach, and - without even towelling themselves down - jump straight into the cabin of their vehicle.’
    • ‘Once I had stopped shaking from the temperature change I began to towel myself off.’
    • ‘I tried to help her out a bit by drying her off with a hand towel, but she wasn't too interested (few cats like to be towelled off in my experience).’
    • ‘She regretfully stepped out of the tub and towelled herself dry, winding the towel around her shoulder-length chestnut hair last.’
    • ‘Her hair was still wet but she had toweled it off, soaking up the excess rainwater.’
    • ‘He began pressing various keys on the console whilst Drake towelled himself off and walked over to the controls.’
    • ‘He smiled and forced himself to look away as he began to towel himself dry.’
    • ‘I should finish towelling my hands at this line, not that one.’

Phrases

  • throw in the towel

Origin

Middle English: from Old French toaille, of Germanic origin. The verb, originally meaning beat or thrash dates from the early 18th century The sense wipe with a towel arose in the mid 19th century.

Pronunciation:

towel

/ˈtou(ə)l/