thicken

(redirected from thickens)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
Related to thickens: plot thickens

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 (something) up

To become or cause something to be thicker, broader, or denser. 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
References in periodicals archive ?
It takes a half-cup of browned cornmeal with the fat added to thicken 2 1/2 cups of milk or buttermilk.
Place bowl in skillet and stir constantly until yolk mixture thickens slightly to consistency of light cream and registers between 160 and 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
Difficult to remove and doesn't thicken or lengthen the lashes.
Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil.
Cook 1 minute, stirring, until sauce clears and thickens.
Stir into vegetables in wok and cook, stirring, until mixture boils, clears and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.
Mixture should have consistency of stiffly whipped cream at all times; if it looks soft, stop adding cream until mixture thickens.
If mixture is runny, continue to microwave in 60-second increments until mixture thickens.
When mixture thickens and bubbles noisily, drop a small amount in ice water.
NOTE: When baking, set pie on a baking sheet in oven, as filling tends to spill over sides of pie pan until mixture thickens.
Add stock and stir until mixture thickens and resembles dark gravy.
Calluses: Skin thickens when it is rubbed repeatedly, creating calluses.
Pour mixture into skillet and stir-fry until sauce thickens.
Cornstarch and thyme are poured into the pan to thicken all the juices ever-so-slightly to bind the ingredients.
Field Science--Does it thicken from the top or bottom?