throw in the towel
also throw in the sponge
- to quit
- to admit defeat or failure
- to fail
- to give up
- to concede (a match, a duel, a bout, etc.)
- (of boxers or their seconds) throw a towel (or sponge) into the ring as a token of defeat.
- Rocky was told by his trainer that he was going to throw in the towel in if he did not start throwing punches
- My brother was so fed up of his manager that he threw in the towel and quit his job.
- Unable to make him see my point of view, I threw in the towel and let him do it his way.
- She was playing a game of chess with her friend and was in a good position, but finally had to throw in the towel as she had to leave.
- Having labored on all night to crack the code, he finally threw in the towel and went to sleep.
- The argument was getting heated up, but not wanting to start a slanging match, she threw in the towel.
- Unable to decide upon a venue, the team threw in the towel and cancelled the event.
- Our team fought till the very end, but the opposition was just too good; they had to throw in the towel.
From boxing, where the boxer’s trainer throws in the towel to stop the fight and accept defeat.