thick·​en | \ ˈthi-kən How to pronounce thicken (audio) \
thickened; thickening\ ˈthik-​niŋ How to pronounce thicken (audio) , ˈthi-​kə-​ \

Definition of thicken

intransitive verb

1a : to become dense the mist thickened
b : to become concentrated in numbers, mass, or frequency
2 : to grow blurred or obscure
3 : to grow broader or bulkier
4 : to grow complicated or keen the plot thickens

transitive verb

1a : to make thick, dense, or viscous in consistency thicken gravy with flour
b : to make close or compact
2 : to increase the depth or diameter of
3 : to make inarticulate : blur alcohol thickened his speech

Other Words from thicken

thickener \ ˈthik-​nər How to pronounce thicken (audio) , ˈthi-​kə-​ \ noun

Examples of thicken in a Sentence

I thickened the gravy with flour. When the mixture thickens, add the remaining ingredients. The fog thickened when night fell.
Recent Examples on the Web Through Tonight: Clouds will continue to thicken, and some showers are likely by mid-or-late evening. Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2021 Good-faith criticism is the forge of success, and even bad-faith criticism can thicken your skin. Michael Mcmullen, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 Thin with more liquid or thicken with more masa harina—the range of good results is vast. Christian Reynoso, Bon Appétit, 25 July 2022 Since egg yolks thicken when frozen, the AEB says to beat in either ⅛ teaspoon salt or 1½ teaspoon sugar or corn syrup per ¼ cup yolks (4 Large). Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 July 2022 The blazes reflect some of the shifts the state is experiencing in the face of climate change, as longer growing seasons thicken tundra vegetation allowing wildfire spread to skyrocket in recent years. Nathaniel Herz, Washington Post, 23 June 2022 Just combine one tablespoon of flaxseed with three tablespoons of water, letting the mixture thicken for five to 10 minutes. Perri O. Blumberg, Men's Health, 23 June 2022 Conservators suspect this process gave the biofilm greater purchase, more nooks and crannies in which to flourish and thicken. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021 In a medium saucepan over low heat, whisk juice, sugar, half and half, heavy cream and egg yolks until mixture begins to boil and thicken. Dallas News, 4 Nov. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thicken.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of thicken

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

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The first known use of thicken was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near thicken

thick china



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Last Updated

19 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Thicken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for thicken


thick·​en | \ ˈthi-kən How to pronounce thicken (audio) \
thickened; thickening

Kids Definition of thicken

: to make or become thick Wait for the pudding to thicken.

Other Words from thicken

thickener noun


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