From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English thickenen, thikkenen, perhaps from Old Norse þykkna (to thicken); equivalent to thick +‎ -en. Cognate with Swedish tjockna (to thicken), Icelandic þykkna (to thicken).


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈθɪkən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪkən


thicken (third-person singular simple present thickens, present participle thickening, simple past and past participle thickened)

  1. (transitive) To make thicker (in the sense of wider).
  2. (transitive) To make thicker (in the sense of more viscous).
    to thicken a sauce
  3. (intransitive) To become thicker (in the sense of wider).
    • 2013 July-August, Stephen P. Lownie, David M. Pelz, “Stents to Prevent Stroke”, in American Scientist:
      As we age, the major arteries of our bodies frequently become thickened with plaque, a fatty material with an oatmeal-like consistency that builds up along the inner lining of blood vessels. The reason plaque forms isn’t entirely known, but it seems to be related to high levels of cholesterol inducing an inflammatory response, which can also attract and trap more cellular debris over time.
  4. (intransitive) To become thicker (in the sense of more viscous).
  5. (transitive) To strengthen; to confirm.
  6. (transitive) To make more frequent.
    to thicken blows


Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.