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

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Other Words from thicken

thickener \ ˈthik-​nər How to pronounce thickener (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Turn off heat and let pan to rest for 10 minutes, allowing the mixture to thicken., "Recipe: Brisket Carne Guisada," 22 June 2020 Additionally, cornstarch helps to thicken the liquid and, along with sugar and fat, creates a softer texture. Nik Sharma,, "A Brown Kitchen: Rosemary, fig & goat cheese ice cream," 18 June 2020 Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture just begins to bubble and thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. Jessica Battilana,, "Vanilla pudding recipe with roasted rhubarb is a cool bowl of comfort," 12 June 2020 As the crowd thickened, trams sat immobilized on the rails, with passengers poking their phones out to film the activity. Austin Ramzy,, "Hong Kong police fire tear gas as protesters resist China’s grip," 24 May 2020 With less starch, the carrot won’t thicken the stock as much, but the stock will taste sweeter. Nik Sharma, Washington Post, "How to make the most flavorful vegetable stock," 8 May 2020 Simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes, removing the cinnamon stick after 5 minutes. Janelle Bitker,, "Oakland chef Bryant Terry brings international flair to vegan recipes," 5 May 2020 Once thickened, slowly pour in 3 additional cups of broth, while stirring constantly. Dallas News, "How Dallas’s Alex Snodgrass of The Defined Dish became a Whole30 star and bestselling cookbook author," 29 Apr. 2020 Sinon said old fuel won’t burn as well and can thicken, clogging injectors and pumps in your car. oregonlive, "How to keep your car in shape if you’re not driving under coronavirus stay-home orders," 28 Apr. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of thicken

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

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Time Traveler for thicken

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for thicken

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thicken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for thicken


How to pronounce thicken (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of thicken

: to make (something) thick or thicker or to become thick or thicker


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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More from Merriam-Webster on thicken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thicken

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thicken

Spanish Central: Translation of thicken

Nglish: Translation of thicken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thicken for Arabic Speakers

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