Definition of towel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtaʊəl/


1A piece of thick absorbent cloth or paper used for drying oneself or wiping things dry: a bath towel a paper towel
More example sentences
  • Use a dust pan and brush for the larger pieces, damp paper towels or cloths for smaller slivers.
  • Using a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe the surface dry prevents streaking.
  • Wipe windows with lintless cloth, paper towels or crumpled newspapers.
2British A sanitary towel.

verb (towels, towelling, towelled; US towels, toweling, toweled)

[with object]
1Wipe or dry with a towel: [with object and complement]: she towelled her hair dry
More example sentences
  • He began pressing various keys on the console whilst Drake towelled himself off and walked over to the controls.
  • 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.
  • Rain was sweeping in on the stage, and he got soaked, but he just towelled himself down.
2 informal, chiefly Australian /NZ Thrash or beat (someone): they’ve dragged her off the bus and towelled her up
More example sentences
  • Melbourne received Chris Heffernan in the deal and he's a better player than Woewodin who was lucky to win the 2000 Brownlow and yet was towelled up by Heffernan in the 2000 Grand Final.
  • His best games were against Essendon at Windy Hill, where he towelled up Bill Duckworth, and Richmond at the MCG.
  • Their defenders were being thoroughly beaten particularly Adam Lange who was towelled up by Matt Kennwell.


Middle English: from Old French toaille, of Germanic origin. Sense 2 of the verb dates from the early 18th century; sense 1 from the mid 19th century.

Words that rhyme with towel

avowal, Baden-Powell, bowel, disembowel, dowel, Howell, Powell, rowel, trowel, vowel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: towel

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