Idiom of the Day. "Throw in the towel"

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Throw in the towel

Synonyms: give up, surrender, call it quits, etc.

Today’s idiom, “throw in the towel,” comes from the world of boxing. It means to give up, admit defeat, quit trying because a situation seems hopeless, to stop trying to do something because you recognize that you cannot succeed.


  1. During a difficult project: "After months of trying to fix the software bug, the team finally threw in the towel and started from scratch."
  2. In a sports context: "Despite their best efforts, the team threw in the towel when the score became 10-0."
  3. While facing a challenging problem: "She threw in the towel after realizing she couldn't balance work and night school."
  4. During a heated argument: "He threw in the towel and walked away, realizing the argument was going nowhere."
  5. In a business setting: "The company threw in the towel on the failing product line to focus on more profitable ventures."

Using "throw in the towel" adds a vivid metaphor to your language, conveying the intensity of giving up after a hard-fought effort.

June, 2024

Posted by Oxford Language Club

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