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.
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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 ?
Beat mixture with an electric mixer set on low speed until frosting thickens and is satiny and fudge-like in appearance, 4 to 5 minutes.
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.
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.
As the formulation thickens, the oil phase ingredients are emulsified and stabilized.
Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil.
Cook 1 minute, stirring, until sauce clears and thickens.
Cook, over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.
As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.
If it thickens on standing, thin to proper consistency with a little milk.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until cranberry skins pop and mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.
NOTE: When baking, set pie on a baking sheet in oven, as filling tends to spill over sides of pie pan until mixture thickens.
Calluses: Skin thickens when it is rubbed repeatedly, creating calluses.
Pour mixture into skillet and stir-fry until sauce thickens.
Gradually stir in 2 cups reserved vegetable mixture; cook until mixture thickens, stirring constantly.