a making or becoming thick.
a thickened part or area; swelling.
something used to thicken; thickener.

Origin of thickening

First recorded in 1570–80; thicken + -ing1


[thik-uh n]

verb (used with or without object)

to make or become thick or thicker.
to make or grow more intense, profound, intricate, or complex: The plot thickens.

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) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thickening

Historical Examples of thickening

British Dictionary definitions for thickening



something added to a liquid to thicken it
a thickened part or piece



to make or become thick or thickerthicken the soup by adding flour
(intr) to become more involvedthe plot thickened
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.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper