thicken


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the plot thickens

A situation or set of circumstances has become more complex, mysterious, interesting, or difficult to understand. A: "This whole time I presumed he was working for my father, but it turns out my father has never heard of him!" B: "Ooh, the plot thickens!" Now the plot thickens, as police have opened a line of inquiry into the governor's whereabouts on the date of the incident.
See also: plot, thicken

thicken up

To become or cause something to be thicker, broader, or denser. A noun or pronoun can be used between "thicken" and "up." Leave the soup on a low heat for another hour so that it thickens up a bit. If your batter is too runny, add a bit of flour to thicken it up. They've put me on a calcium supplement to help thicken up my bones.
See also: thicken, up

plot thickens

Things are becoming more complicated or interesting. The police assumed that the woman was murdered by her ex-husband, but he has an alibi. The plot thickens. John is supposed to be going out with Mary, but I saw him last night with Sally. The plot thickens.
See also: plot, thicken

thicken something up

 
1. to make something, such as a fluid, thicker. I have to thicken this gravy up before we can serve dinner. Please thicken up the gravy before you serve it.
2. to make something wider. See this line here? You need to thicken it up so that it shows more clearly. Try to thicken up the line a little.
See also: thicken, up

plot thickens, the

Circumstances are becoming very complex or mysterious. Today this term is often used ironically or half-humorously, as in His companion wasn't his wife or his partner-the plot thickens. Originally (1671) it described the plot of a play that was overly intricate, and by the late 1800s it was used for increasingly complex mysteries in detective stories.
See also: plot

the plot thickens

People say the plot thickens when a situation or series of events starts to become even more complicated or strange. The plot thickens when he finds diamonds worth 6m euros hidden in a box of salt in the dead man's room. At this point the plot thickened further. A link emerged between the attempt to kill the Pope and the kidnapping of the American. Note: This phrase was widely used in 19th century melodramas, or popular plays that involved extreme situations and extreme emotions, and is now used humorously
See also: plot, thicken

the plot thickens

the situation becomes more difficult and complex.
This expression comes from The Rehearsal ( 1671 ), a burlesque drama by George Villiers , 2nd Duke of Buckingham: ‘now the plot thickens very much upon us’.
See also: plot, thicken

the plot ˈthickens

(often humorous) used to say that a situation is becoming more complicated and difficult to understand: Aha, so both Karen and Steve had the day off work yesterday? The plot thickens!
See also: plot, thicken

thicken up

v.
1. To become thicker or denser: The gravy thickened up.
2. To cause something to become thicker or denser: I thickened the batter up by adding more flour. The cook thickened up the fudge.
See also: thicken, up

plot thickens, the

The situation is becoming increasingly complex. Originally the term was used to describe the plot of a play that was becoming byzantine in its complexity; it was so used by George Villiers in his 1672 comedy The Rehearsal (3.2). It was repeated by numerous writers and became particularly popular in mystery novels, from Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet (1887) on. Today it is often used sarcastically or ironically of some situation that is needlessly complex but scarcely meets the description of a sinister plot.
See also: plot
References in periodicals archive ?
Most previous studies, based on a literature search, have focused on human milk fortification and nutritional aspects, and not on analyses of the osmolality of thickened diets for infants with respect to time, temperature, and concentration, despite the important implications for the coordination of sucking, breathing, and swallowing.
Thin gravy is a breeze, but thickened gravy is an art.
The labor cost to create the product was determined by calculating the hourly wage and the mean time to create the thickened product (see Table 3).
These results are currently benefiting up to 33% of patients and can be directly applied to all areas where consumers require thickened, iron-rich texture-modified meals with minimal additional cost.
Yolks thicken the most, whites the least, and whites break or curdle at a lower temperature.
These changes happen when liquids are thickened, and if you've used a starch to thicken them, the results depend on the kind of starch you've used and how you've used it.
High levels of testosterone can thicken blood and cause the thickening of artery walls - resulting in high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Pure-Gel modified starches thicken and stabilize creams, lotions, shave products and cleansers at a wide range of pH.
Within a decade, however, in about half the patients the grafted vessels thicken so as to dangerously impede flow.
Difficult to remove and doesn't thicken or lengthen the lashes.
When the emulsion is added to water, the polymer expands immediately into the water phase to thicken and stabilize the formulation.
Contract award: gradual delivery (within 36 months) polyelectrolyte to thicken sludge from the wastewater treatment plant plaszow ii.
Part 5 - acrylic polymer - polyelectrolyte to thicken the sludge after coagulation for IG "Miedwie" - 500 PLN in words five hundred zlotys
Analysis of water currents beneath the giant Filchner-Ronne ice shelf suggests that warming could thicken the floating ice rather than melt it, reports Keith W.
However, Moser and her coauthor, Kathleen Dracup of the University of California, Los Angeles, conjecture that the high-anxiety patients suffer from an excess of stress-related chemicals that thicken the blood.