tow·​el | \ ˈtau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce towel (audio) \

Definition of towel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an absorbent cloth or paper for wiping or drying


toweled or towelled; toweling or towelling

Definition of towel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to rub or dry (something, such as the body) with a towel

intransitive verb

: to use a towel to dry oneself toweled down after swimming

Examples of towel in a Sentence

Noun She dried her hair with a towel. Here's a towel to wipe up the spill.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun According to the complaint, surveillance video shows Simon, who had a white towel in his hand, entered the area behind the counter and pushed Alba. Sonia Moghe, CNN, 19 July 2022 The wounded boy walked first through the streets, holding a stick tied with a white towel, with a white sling around his arm. Cara Anna, Anchorage Daily News, 12 May 2022 An unidentified woman leans over White’s body, seemingly checking his pulse and covering his torso with a white towel as blood pools near his head. Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2022 He was described as a man dressed all in white, wearing a Burger King crown and a white towel around his head, and yelling profanities. Globe Staff,, 27 Nov. 2021 Love has already been labeled a bust by many, but his physical skills are unique and the Packers have no plans to throw in the towel on him just yet. Rob Reischel, Forbes, 6 July 2022 Don't think that the Z is ready to throw in the towel, though. Mark Takahashi, Car and Driver, 10 June 2022 At one point, Fatou was ready to throw in the towel. Bora, Rolling Stone, 31 May 2022 Gently rinse them off, let dry on a paper towel, and add to your dishes right before serving. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 14 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Also bring a cutting board, aluminum foil, a scrubbing pad, and towel. Erin E. Williams,, 10 July 2022 Additional thoughtful touches include heated bathroom floors and towel racks alongside luxurious amenities like Smeg kettles and coffee makers, Klipsch speakers, Once Milano linens, and Dedar and Rubelli textiles. Christina Liao, Forbes, 23 May 2022 Then, wrap your hair in a shower cap, T-shirt, or towel for 30 minutes. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, 29 Apr. 2022 Place a pillow or towel on the floor, close to and in front of a couch or wall. Lisa Jhung, Outside Online, 30 Sep. 2019 While blow-drying hair can cause significant damage and breakage, so can towel drying. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 10 Feb. 2022 The hard-to-watch violence is magnified when the bullies snatch Sara’s backpack, clothes and towel and run off, leaving her to stagger home, weeping and traumatized, with only her bikini to cover her. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2022 Drain zucchini, and add to towel; squeeze out as much liquid as possible. People Staff,, 30 Nov. 2021 Steph Curry stood up from the bench, towel over his head, and made his way to the scorer's table to check in at the 4:36 mark of the fourth quarter Monday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. James Boyd, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'towel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of towel


13th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1839, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for towel


Middle English towaille, from Anglo-French tuaille, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German dwahila towel; akin to Old High German dwahan to wash

Learn More About towel

Time Traveler for towel

Time Traveler

The first known use of towel was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near towel

tow cloth


towel bar

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Statistics for towel

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Towel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for towel


tow·​el | \ ˈtau̇-əl How to pronounce towel (audio) \

Kids Definition of towel

: a cloth or piece of absorbent paper for wiping or drying


tow·​el | \ ˈtau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce towel (audio) \

Medical Definition of towel

1 : an absorbent cloth or paper for wiping or drying
2 British : sanitary napkin

More from Merriam-Webster on towel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for towel

Nglish: Translation of towel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of towel for Arabic Speakers


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