• synonyms


See more synonyms for thickening on Thesaurus.com
  1. a making or becoming thick.
  2. a thickened part or area; swelling.
  3. something used to thicken; thickener.
Show More

Origin of thickening

First recorded in 1570–80; thicken + -ing1


[thik-uh n]
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.
Show More

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


Examples from the Web for thickening

Historical Examples

  • Now she was squaring and thickening and looking horrid, like Mr. Hancock.

    Life and Death of Harriett Frean

    May Sinclair

  • All at once I became aware that the light was thickening, and that I was very hungry.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • "The mist is thickening," rejoined the woman's voice, sadness in its tone.

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

  • Strain off the liquor; put into it a bit of thickening and some butter.

  • But come, thou'lt weary of this thickening air, Let us depart.

British Dictionary definitions for thickening


  1. something added to a liquid to thicken it
  2. a thickened part or piece
Show More


  1. to make or become thick or thickerthicken the soup by adding flour
  2. (intr) to become more involvedthe plot thickened
Show More
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 thickening


"substance used to thicken something," 1839, verbal noun from thicken.

Show More



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

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper