Share this entry

Share this page

throw in the towel (or sponge)

Definition of throw in the towel or sponge in English:

1(Of boxers or their seconds) throw a towel (or sponge) into the ring as a token of defeat.
Example sentences
  • The Mexican great saw his challenge end when his corner threw in the towel in the closing seconds of round 11.
  • One of his cornermen surprisingly decided to throw in the towel to spark a 3-way disagreement between his assistant and the fighter himself.
  • He left a trail of blood across the ring before his corner threw in the towel after 15 brutal rounds.
1.1Abandon a struggle; admit defeat.
Example sentences
  • Halfway up, my wife, who is not usually fazed by such challenges, couldn't face the prospect of struggling down again and so threw in the towel.
  • If you're struggling to get through your workout, throw in the towel for the day instead of beating up your body even more.
  • If it's us that throws in the towel, then life gets really rough for the locals and our reputation goes in the toilet.
See parent entry: throw

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…