The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Towel \Tow"el\, n. [OE. towaille, towail, F. touaille, LL.
toacula, of Teutonic origin; cf. OHG. dwahila, swahilla, G.
zwehle, fr. OHG. dwahan to wash; akin to D. dwaal a towel,
AS. [thorn]we['a]n to wash, OS. thwahan, Icel. [thorn]v[=a],
Sw. tv[*a], Dan. toe, Goth. [thorn]wahan. Cf. Doily.]
A cloth used for wiping, especially one used for drying
anything wet, as the person after a bath.
Towel gourd (Bot.), the fruit of the cucurbitaceous plant
Luffa Aegyptiaca; also, the plant itself. The fruit is
very fibrous, and, when separated from its rind and seeds,
is used as a sponge or towel. Called also Egyptian bath
sponge, and dishcloth.