thicken

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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 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 ?
Thin gravy is a breeze, but thickened gravy is an art.
Once it has the right color, add the liquid, stir and cook until thickened. Roux gravy will thicken as it cools.
If you like a little shine to your gravy, thicken it with cornstarch.
IT THICKENS: Turns out the wonder drug can't cure little things like a knife in the back.
IT THICKENS: Santa's elves turn out to be mobsters, but they might still be the good guys.
Within a decade, however, in about half the patients the grafted vessels thicken so as to dangerously impede flow.
Applies beautifully, thickens and lengthens the lashes with one coat.
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.
The rate of the heat inversely affects how much a custard thickens. A custard cooked longer at lower temperatures will be thicker and smoother than the same mixture cooked at a higher heat.
Eggs start to thicken, or firm, at very low heat, about 100[degrees].
Once a laver of skim ice is established, lake ice can continue to thicken from both the top and bob tom.
Other, not too pretty problems, are nail thickening due to fungal infections, black toenails due to repeated trauma, I thickened toenails called "runner's nail," and of course other irritations, inflammations and infections.
Thickened toenails are so common among long distance runners, the condition has been dubbed, "Runner's Nail." The thickening and changes in color are caused by repetitive pressure of the shoe on the nail.
After 24 hours it will have thickened considerably.