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From Middle English towel, towail, towaille, from Old French toaille (towel) (modern French touaille), from Frankish *thwahila (cloth), from Proto-Germanic *þwahilō (wash-cloth, literally something used for washing), from *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).



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towel (plural towels)

  1. A cloth used for wiping, especially one used for drying anything wet, as a person after a bath.


Derived termsEdit



towel (third-person singular simple present towels, present participle toweling or towelling, simple past and past participle toweled or towelled)

  1. (transitive) To hit with a towel.
  2. (transitive) To dry by using a towel.
    He got out of the shower and toweled himself dry.
  3. (Britain, dialect, obsolete, transitive) To beat with a stick.

Derived termsEdit

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for towel in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)