Meaning of THICK in English


I. thick 1 S2 W2 /θɪk/ BrE AmE adjective ( comparative thicker , superlative thickest )

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ thick , ↑ thickness , ↑ thickener , thickening, ↑ thicko ; verb : ↑ thicken ; adverb : ↑ thickly ; adjective : ↑ thick ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: thicce ]


if something is thick, there is a large distance or a larger distance than usual between its two opposite surfaces or sides OPP thin :

a thick oak door

a thick slice of homemade bread

He was wearing thick glasses.

short thick fingers

thick wool socks (=socks that are heavy and warm)

If you want a thicker blanket, there are more here in the closet.

The meat is done when the thickest part turns from pink to white.

thick with

The furniture was thick with dust (=there was thick dust on the furniture) .

2 . MEASUREMENT measuring a particular distance between two opposite sides or surfaces of something

3 feet/1 cm/two inches etc thick

The walls are about two meters thick.

How thick should the glass in the tank be?

This layer of brain tissue is no thicker than 2 mm.

3 . TREES/BUSHES ETC growing very close together or having a lot of leaves SYN dense :

birds hiding in the thick undergrowth

thick with

The walls were thick with ivy.

4 . SMOKE/CLOUD ETC filling the air, and difficult to see through or breathe in SYN dense :

thick fog

thick with

The air was thick with cigarette smoke.

5 . LIQUID almost solid, and therefore flowing very slowly, or not flowing at all:

For a thicker gravy, add more flour.

The paint is too thick.

6 . HAIR/FUR having a lot of hair or fur:

She ran her fingers through her thick brown hair.

7 . STUPID British English informal a thick person is stupid:

He’s a nice guy, but he’s a bit thick.

(as) thick as two short planks (=very stupid)


a) if someone has a thick ↑ accent , the way they speak shows clearly which particular place or part of a country they come from

a thick German/Yorkshire etc accent

Olga speaks English with a thick Russian accent.

b) if someone’s voice is thick, it is not as clear or high as usual, for example because they are upset:

Bill’s voice was thick and gruff.

thick with

Her voice was thick with emotion.

9 . LARGE AMOUNT especially written containing a lot of people or things:

The cod were so thick in the water that they caught thousands very quickly.

thick with

The roads were thick with holiday traffic.

10 . be thick on the ground British English to be present or available in large amounts or numbers OPP thin on the ground :

Cheap houses aren’t as thick on the ground as they used to be.

11 . have a thick skin to not care if people criticize you or do not like you ⇨ ↑ thick-skinned

12 . FRIENDLY be (as) thick as thieves if two people are as thick as thieves, they are very friendly with each other and seem to share a lot of secrets, making other people think they are hiding or planning something:

Lately Nick and Lou have been as thick as thieves.

13 . give somebody a thick ear/get a thick ear British English spoken to hit someone or be hit on the head, as a punishment:

Any more cheek from you and you’ll get a thick ear.

14 . be thick with somebody old-fashioned to be very friendly with someone

15 . (it’s) a bit thick British English old-fashioned used to say something is a little unfair or annoying

II. thick 2 BrE AmE adverb

1 . thickly. Many teachers think this is not correct English:

peanut butter spread thick

2 . thick and fast arriving or happening very frequently, in large amounts or numbers:

Entries have been coming in thick and fast.

⇨ lay it on (a bit thick) at LAY ON (3)

III. thick 3 BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ thick , ↑ thickness , ↑ thickener , thickening, ↑ thicko ; verb : ↑ thicken ; adverb : ↑ thickly ; adjective : ↑ thick ]

1 . in the thick of something involved in the busiest, most active, most dangerous etc part of a situation:

Brown hopes to be back in the thick of the action as soon as possible.

2 . through thick and thin in spite of any difficulties or problems:

Then, families stuck together through thick and thin.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.