From Middle English towayle, towel, towail, towaille, from Old French toaille (“towel”) (modern French touaille), Medieval Latin toallia, from Frankish *þwahilu (“cloth”), from Proto-Germanic *þwahaną (“to wash”). Cognate with Old High German dwahila (“towel”) (modern dialectal German Zwehle), Dutch dwaal (“towel”), dweil (“mop”), Low German Dweel (“towel”), Old English þwǣle (“band; ribbon; fillet”), Old English þwēan (“to wash”).
- enPR: toul, touʹəl
- IPA(key): /taʊl/, /ˈtaʊ.əl/
- (Philadelphia), IPA(key): [tæl]
Audio (US) (file) Audio (UK) (file)
- Rhymes: -aʊl, -aʊəl
towel (plural towels)
- A cloth used for wiping, especially one used for drying anything wet, such as a person after a bath.
- see also Derived terms below
cloth used for wiping
towel (third-person singular simple present towels, present participle toweling or towelling, simple past and past participle toweled or towelled)
- (transitive) To hit with a towel.
- (transitive) To dry by using a towel.
- He got out of the shower and toweled himself dry.
- (transitive) To block up (a door, etc.) with a towel, to conceal the fumes of a recreational drug.
- 2012, Dave Tomar, The Shadow Scholar: How I Made a Living Helping College Kids Cheat:
- We would open the windows, towel the door, and turn my bedroom into an Allman Brothers concert.
- (UK, dialect, obsolete, transitive) To beat with a stick, or "oaken towel".
- ^ towel in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- Alternative form of towayle