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sponge (something) off (of) (someone or something)
To beg for, borrow, or obtain something (usually money or food) as a handout from someone or something else. My brother's been sponging money off my parents ever since he dropped out of college. My roommate's nice, but she's always sponging food off of me, and I don't have the heart to tell her to stop.
throw in the sponge
To give up on some endeavor; to quit or abandon something; to admit defeat or failure. I've been working on this book for over a year, and I'm getting nowhere with it. I think I'm ready to throw in the sponge. After trying their hand in the mobile market for just a few years, the company is already throwing in the sponge after finding very little success.
throw in the towel
To give up on some endeavor; to quit or abandon something; to admit defeat or failure. I've been working on this book for over a year, and I'm getting nowhere with it. I think I'm ready to throw in the towel. After trying their hand in the mobile market for just a few years, the company is already throwing in the towel after finding very little success.
1. To wash, wipe, or moisten with or as with a sponge. I didn't have time to shower, so I just sponged down before heading home.
2. To wash, wipe, or moisten someone or something with or as with a sponge. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sponge" and "down." There's a great photo of my parents sponging me down in the kitchen sink when I was a baby. Dad's making us sponge down the car because we drove it through the mud. The nurse sat by and sponged down the child's forehead to help keep the fever at bay.
sponge on (someone or something)
To take advantage of someone else's generosity, charity, or hospitality in order to obtain something, typically money or food, as a handout. My brother's been sponging on my parents ever since he dropped out of college. I hated being on welfare—even though I really needed it, I always felt like I was sponging on the government
1. To clean (some surface) vigorously or continuously with a sponge. I sat there sponging away at the concrete until all the markings were removed.
2. To remove something by absorbing or wiping it with a sponge. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "sponge" and "away." Dad's out back sponging the graffiti away. The nurse sponged away the blood from the woman's shoulder.
sponge from (someone or something)
1. To wipe, mop up, or otherwise clean away something from some surface with or as with a sponge. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sponge" and "from." I sat beside her bed, sponging the sweat from her feverish brow. Dad's out back sponging the graffiti from the wall.
2. To obtain something, especially money or food, from another person, group, agency, country, etc., for free or without doing any work. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "sponge" and "from" to specify what is being obtained. The minute I had to go on social welfare, I felt like a bum who was sponging from the government. Tom's been sponging money from Mom and Dad for years. I don't know if he's ever held down a job for longer than a month at a time.
To absorb or mop up some liquid with or as with a sponge. A noun or pronoun is used between "sponge" and "up." One of the worst jobs in the hospital is sponging up all the blood and other bodily gunk that ends up on the floors after surgeries and deliveries. You need to sponge that paint up straight away—if it gets dry, you'll never get it off the floor.
sponge someone or something down
to remove the [excess] moisture from someone or something; to wipe someone or something with a sponge. The fight manager sponged his boxer down. I will sponge down the countertop.
sponge something away
to absorb, wipe up, and wipe away something, as with a sponge. Try sponging the stain away with some soda water. I will sponge away the mess.
sponge something from someone
to beg or borrow money or food from someone. Gary tried to sponge a few bucks from me. I can't continue sponging food from my relatives.
sponge something from something
to remove moisture from something, as with a sponge. Liz sponged the sauce from her blouse. We gently sponged the splattered paint from the carpet.
sponge something off of someone or somethingand sponge something off
to beg or borrow money or food from someone or a group. Please stop sponging food and money off your relatives! Stop sponging off food and money all the time!
sponge something up
to absorb or take up moisture, as with a sponge. I had to sponge the spilled milk up from the floor, the chair, the table, and the baby. What a mess! Liz sponged up the water.
throw in the toweland throw in the sponge; toss in the sponge
Fig. (From boxing, where this is done by a boxer's trainer to stop the fight.) to signal that one is going to quit; to quit. When John could stand no more of Mary's bad temper, he threw in the towel and left. Don't give up now! It's too soon to throw in the sponge.
Also, sponge off. Impose on another's hospitality or generosity, as in He's been sponging on relatives for the past year. This expression uses sponge in the sense of "to soak up something." [Late 1600s]
throw in the sponge
Also, throw in the towel. Give up, acknowledge defeat, as in I can't move this rock; I'm throwing in the sponge, or Bill decided to throw in the towel and resign from his job. This idiom comes from boxing, where formerly a fighter (or his second) conceded defeat by throwing the sponge or towel used to wipe his face into the ring. [c. 1900]
throw in the towel
COMMON If you throw in the towel, you stop trying to do something, because you know that you cannot succeed. Klara's support, when even her son's trainers wanted to throw in the towel, was crucial. Note: Verbs such as chuck and toss are sometimes used instead of throw. One day I will be brave enough (or fed up enough) to chuck in the towel and start again. Note: You can also say that someone throws in the sponge. You're not the kind of man who throws in the sponge. You're a fighter and it's your fighting spirit which is going to save you. Note: In boxing, a fighter's trainer sometimes throws a towel or sponge into the ring as a signal of defeat in order to stop the fight before there are any more injuries.
throw in the towel (or sponge)abandon a struggle; admit defeat.
Boxers or their trainers traditionally signal defeat by throwing the towel or sponge used to wipe a contestant's face into the middle of the ring.
throw in the ˈtowel/ˈsponge(informal) stop doing something because you know that you cannot succeed; admit defeat: It’s a bit early to throw in the towel — you’ve only just started the job.
This idiom comes from boxing: throwing in the towel or sponge is a sign that a fighter accepts defeat.
To moisten or wipe the surface of someone or something with or as if with a sponge: The artist sponged down the canvas with primer before starting the painting. I had a high fever, so the nurse sponged my forehead down.
1. To wipe or clean the surface of someone or something with or as if with a sponge: After dinner, I cleared all the dishes and sponged off the table. The blackboard was very dirty, so the teacher told me to sponge it off.
2. To live by relying on the generosity of someone else: He sponged off his parents for years because they never insisted that he get a job.
1. in. to drink heavily. She was sponging like there was no tomorrow.
2. n. a drunkard; a tippler. (see also blotter.) She was a spunge, and she wasn’t going to do anything about it.
3. n. a parasitic person. Here comes that sponge, Willy. Hide your wallet, pencils, glasses, and any clothes in his size.
sponge off someone
in. to live off someone; to take advantage of someone by taking food and shelter from them without compensation. Go get a job! Stop sponging off me!
mod. thirsty. I gotta get a drink, man. I’m sponged!
throw in the toweland throw in the sponge and toss in the sponge
tv. to quit; to give up. (From boxing, where a towel or sponge thrown into the ring indicates that a boxer has given up.) The candidate who was exposed by the press as a former pickpocket tossed in the sponge in a tearful press conference. I’m done! I’m tossing in the sponge!
throw in the spongeverb
toss in the spongeverb
throw in the sponge/towel, to
To acknowledge defeat; to give up. J. C. Hotten’s Slang Dictionary of 1860 explained that this term comes from prizefighting, where throwing up the sponge used to clean the contender’s face was a signal that the “mill,” or round, was concluded. However, Hotten got it wrong; the sponge (or later, towel) more often was thrown up as a signal of defeat, and it is in this sense that the expression was transferred to other enterprises. “If ever you are tempted to say . . . ‘I am beaten and I throw up the sponge,’ remember Paul’s wise exhortation,” wrote Alexander Maclaren (Philippians, 1909). Later up was changed to in, at least in North America.
throw in the towel
To quit. A prizefighter's sidemen use sponges to clean his face of sweat and blood. To toss the sponge into the ring during a fight signaled that the boxer had had enough—and so the sponge was no longer needed. In recent years, towels have been substituted for sponges in boxing matches, and consequently, in the expression too.