Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Relatively great in extent from one surface to the opposite, usually in the smallest solid dimension; not thin.
  • adjective Measuring a specified number of units in this dimension.
  • adjective Heavy in form, build, or stature; thickset.
  • adjective Having component parts in a close, crowded state or arrangement; dense.
  • adjective Having or suggesting a heavy or viscous consistency.
  • adjective Having a great number; abounding.
  • adjective Impenetrable by the eyes.
  • adjective Hard to hear or understand, as from being husky or slurred.
  • adjective Very noticeable; pronounced.
  • adjective Informal Lacking mental agility; stupid.
  • adjective Informal Very friendly; intimate.
  • adjective Informal Going beyond what is tolerable; excessive.
  • adverb In a thick manner; deeply or heavily.
  • adverb In a close, compact state or arrangement; densely.
  • adverb So as to be thick; thickly.
  • noun The thickest part.
  • noun The most active or intense part.
  • idiom (thick and thin) Good and bad times.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In a thick manner, in any sense.
  • Having relatively great extent or depth from one surface to its opposite; being relatively of great depth, or extent from side to side: opposed to thin.
  • Having (a specified) measurement in a direction perpendicular to that of the length and breadth; measuring (so much) between opposite surfaces: as, a board one inch thick.
  • Having numerous separate parts or individuals set or occurring close together; dense; compactly arranged.
  • Having relatively great consistency; also, containing much solid matter in suspension or solution; approaching the consistency of a solid; inspissated: as, thick cream; thick paste; often of liquids, turbid; muddy; cloudy.
  • Heavy; profound; intense; extreme; great.
  • Obscure; not clear; especially, laden with clouds or vapor; misty; foggy: noting the atmosphere, the weather, etc.
  • Mentally dull; stupid: devoid of intelligence: as, to have a thick head.
  • Mentally clouded; befogged; slow, weak, or defective in sense-perception, sometimes in moral perception: as, to be thick of sight, hearing, etc.: said of persons or of the organs of sense.
  • Indistinct in utterance; inarticulate; not clear.
  • Abounding; filled; plentifully supplied: followed by with (formerly of or for).
  • Numerous; plentiful; frequent; crowded.
  • Being of a specified number; numbering.
  • Close in friendship; intimate.
  • noun The thickest part of anything.
  • noun The densest or most crowded part; the place of greatest resort or abundance.
  • noun The spot of greatest intensity or activity.
  • noun The time when anything is thickest.
  • noun A thicket; a coppice.
  • noun A stupid person; a dullard; a blockhead; a numskull.
  • To make thick; thicken.
  • To increase in depth or girth; swell the proportions of (a solid body); fatten.
  • To give firmer consistency to; inspissate.
  • To make obscure or dark; hence, to hide; conceal.
  • To become thick.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • verb rare To thicken.
  • noun The thickest part, or the time when anything is thickest.
  • noun obsolete A thicket.
  • noun (Naut.) a fiddle block. See under Fiddle.
  • noun through all obstacles and difficulties, both great and small.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English thicke, from Old English thicce; see tegu- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English thicke, from Old English þicce ("thick, dense"), from Proto-Germanic *þikkuz, *þikkwiz (“thick”), from Proto-Indo-European *tegus (“thick”). Cognate with Dutch dik ("thick"), German dick ("thick"), Swedish tjock ("thick"), Albanian thuk ("I press, thicken, make dense"), Old Irish tiug ("thick") and Welsh tew ("thick").

Examples

  • Make the bed by arranging the branches shingle-like in _very_ thick overlapping rows, convex side up, directly on the ground with _thick end_ of stems _toward_ the _foot_.

    On the Trail An Outdoor Book for Girls

  • Her heart was touched; and once that happened nothing could exceed her capacity for sticking through what she called thick and thin to her guns.

    Christopher and Columbus

  • His Highness (who is very short and what one calls thick-set) was accompanied by a secretary, a _chasseur, _ a valet, two postilions, two grooms, and four horses.

    In the Courts of Memory, 1858 1875; from Contemporary Letters

  • They've too much of what I call thick-skinned honesty for that.

    Phineas Redux

  • They've too much of what I call thick-skinned honesty for that.

    Phineas Redux

  • In the chaotic aftermath of the earthquake, one presidential aide who had hid under his desk as his office collapsed around him managed to flee amid what he described as a thick plume of smoke.

    post-gazette.com - News

  • We were informed that two people were stuck in what they described as thick, white mist.

    Evening Mail news round-up

  • In the chaotic aftermath of the earthquake, one presidential aide who had hid under his desk as his office collapsed around him managed to flee amid what he described as a thick plume of smoke.

    NYT > Home Page

  • In the chaotic aftermath of the earthquake, one presidential aide who had hid under his desk as his office collapsed around him managed to flee amid what he described as a thick plume of smoke.

    NYT > Home Page

  • I've gotten really close to a number of dead deeer tracking after dark in thick stuff such as a cutover, and even stumbled over a buck once on my way out, having given up and headed for the truck.

    How close have you been to an animal you were tracking before you actually found it?

Comments

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  • "Intimate. They are as thick as two inkle-makers."

    - Francis Grose, 'The Vulgar Tongue'.

    September 11, 2008

  • "We ride in silence. We go through the Salerno Gap, and are soon nearing the outskirts of Naples. Lots of pretty girls. Soon we are in the thick of the Via Roma traffic, we move at a snail's pace. People are as thick as flies, some thicker. It takes us nearly an hour to get through the chaos."

    - Spike Milligan, 'Mussolini: My Part In His Downfall.'

    April 18, 2009

  • "His balls! Christ, you're thick"

    -The Mighty Boosh

    June 28, 2009

  • I love The Mighty Boosh, which probably warrants its own list (by someone who has the DVDs, probably).

    But "Christ, you're thick" doesn't seem like a Booshism to me; it's simply the British equivalent to the North American "Boy, you're dumb!" Or am I missing something here, MM?

    June 29, 2009

  • "Christ, you're thick" may be a perfectly garden-variety phrase; I cite TMB because it's not my quote, that's all.

    June 29, 2009

  • Some of the more graphic definitions from the "more" on thick may help picture this act.

    June 29, 2009

  • psst...wrong word

    June 29, 2009