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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Add all other ingredients, including a few pinches of cayenne pepper to taste, and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomato and juices reduce and thicken. Beth Segal, cleveland, 7 May 2021 The sky will be partly cloudy for a time Saturday evening then cloudiness will lower and thicken again overnight., 26 Feb. 2021 Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes. Christopher Michel, Country Living, 24 May 2021 Our Test Kitchen Professional Pam Lolley has just the solution for an easy way to thicken your gravy just in time for the feast. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 5 May 2021 Cloudiness will thicken during the evening hours and then more showers and drizzle will be developing., 3 May 2021 The jelly should thicken and transform from a milky coffee color to a dark caramel. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2021 Within the next six weeks, patch or overseed lawns to thicken the grass and crowd out weeds — or wait until September., 11 Apr. 2021 Strain the beef juices from the crockpot first before adding to the roux to thicken up the gravy. Kellie Speed,, 7 Mar. 2021

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

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thicken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for thicken



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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