• synonyms


[thik-uh n]
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become thick or thicker.
  2. to make or grow more intense, profound, intricate, or complex: The plot thickens.
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Origin of thicken

1375–1425; late Middle English thiknen < Old Norse thykkna. See thick, -en1
Related formsre·thick·en, verbun·thick·en, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for thicken

clot, curdle, swell, congeal, condense, stiffen, enlarge, widen, buttress, reinforce, inspissate, jelly, freeze, harden, add, solidify, cake, deepen, coagulate, ossify

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Contemporary Examples of thicken

Historical Examples of thicken

British Dictionary definitions for thicken


  1. to make or become thick or thickerthicken the soup by adding flour
  2. (intr) to become more involvedthe plot thickened
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Derived Formsthickener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for thicken


early 15c. (transitive), 1590s (intransitive), from thick + -en (1). Related: Thickened; thickening. An earlier verb was Old English þiccian.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper