Meaning of throw in the towel in English:

throw in the towel


(also throw in the sponge)
  • 1(of boxers or their seconds) throw a towel or sponge into the ring as a token of defeat.

    ‘Cafaro was told by his trainer that he was going to throw the towel in if he did not start throwing punches’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the rematch Leonard stayed clear and boxed his opponent all over the ring till he threw in the towel.’
    • ‘Sure enough, he sloppily but quickly dispatched Williams, who threw in the towel in the second round.’
    • ‘He was not so generous with, Dyer whose seconds threw in the towel during the sixth round.’
    • ‘Facing Hewitt, the American looked tired and out of sorts in the first set and threw in the towel in the second.’
    • ‘He didn't complain about his corner throwing in the towel, saying he understood that Turner did what he thought was right.’
    • ‘All the while, he was landing more punches, to the head and body, until finally his corner had to throw in the towel to preserve the health of their fighter.’
    • ‘Moore got up as the bell rang but he lost the fight when his manager threw in the towel.’
    1. 1.1Abandon a struggle; admit defeat.
      ‘there are times when the difficulties appear too great and we just throw in the towel’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She played well at the end and she never, ever throws in the towel.’
      • ‘There are days when I feel like throwing in the towel, but I just keep hoping that things get better.’
      • ‘But while he is pessimistic, he also makes it clear he does not want to see Ireland throwing in the towel on an industry that has played a vital role in the economy of rural Ireland for generations.’
      • ‘Some institutions are already throwing in the towel.’
      • ‘At any other time it would have sounded like the leader of an unelectable party throwing in the towel, or finding an excuse for his own failure.’
      • ‘It has been unpleasant but I have no intention of throwing in the towel.’
      • ‘I lasted four years, finally throwing in the towel and heading back to the UK in 1997.’
      capitulate, admit defeat, concede defeat, give up, surrender, yield, submit, climb down, back down, give way, defer, acquiesce, relent, succumb, comply
      admit defeat, concede defeat, stop trying, call it a day, give in, surrender, capitulate, be beaten