Definition of thickness in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The distance through an object, as distinct from width or height:

    ‘the gateway is several feet in thickness’
    [count noun] ‘paving slabs can be obtained in varying thicknesses’
    • ‘The earth's crust varies greatly in thickness, the least beneath the oceans, the most under the continental land masses.’
    • ‘To determine the exact width and thickness of the pieces you'll need, measure the exposed ends of the floorboards.’
    • ‘The thickness of the stones varies according to personal taste but they are usually between 9mm and 10 mm.’
    • ‘Beneath the oceans, the crust varies little in thickness, generally extending only to about 5 km.’
    • ‘First things first, the holster should fit and be worn with a belt of proper width and thickness.’
    • ‘The scanner takes more than 90 measurements of the hand in terms of length, width, thickness and surface area in the span of one second.’
    • ‘Ice doesn't freeze evenly, so a sheet of ice can vary in thickness from solid and safe, to dangerously thin in just a few steps.’
    • ‘The epidermis is the thinnest component of the skin, varying in thickness from 0.04 mm on the eyelids to 1.6 mm on the palms of the hand.’
    • ‘In fact, from the Republic onwards the Romans found it necessary to make regulations to control the thickness of walls, the quality of building materials, and the roofs and height of buildings.’
    • ‘The selection depends on the design and thickness of the wall.’
    • ‘As we all know, a certain minimum wall thickness must be maintained for safety reasons.’
    • ‘The eggshell thickness varies among different species of dinosaurs.’
    • ‘Measuring instructions: Measure the length, width, and thickness of your chair seat.’
    • ‘The author says that no pipeline, regardless of wall thickness, is impervious to failure.’
    • ‘Time will vary depending on thickness, but you're aiming here for rare-to-medium-rare.’
    • ‘The timing will vary according to thickness, so check that the meat is cooked before removing the chops.’
    • ‘Minimum thicknesses of noncombustible insulating materials are indicated as required for the fire-resistance ratings shown.’
    • ‘Such opportunities are highly-valued by the scientific community, as the thickness and quality of the polar ice can be measured with a great deal of accuracy from underwater.’
    • ‘There is no maximum thickness for the deeper layer.’
    • ‘These dressings are semipermeable, vary in size and thickness, and have an adhesive that holds the dressing on the skin.’
    • ‘A conventional barcode comprises light and dark elements - the bars - whose thickness varies.’
    • ‘As the lens ages, it increases in weight and thickness, and its proteins undergo a chemical change.’
    width, breadth, depth, diameter, extent
    breadth, broadness, width, wideness, largeness, bigness, bulkiness, solidness
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    1. 1.1[count noun] A layer of a specified material:
      ‘the framework has to support two thicknesses of plasterboard’
      • ‘The board should be made of three or more thicknesses of cardboard.’
      • ‘The interlining is formed of a number of thicknesses of suitable material.’
      • ‘How many thicknesses of paper did the oil penetrate?’
      • ‘Lay down two or more thicknesses of heavy cardboard or 10 to 20 thicknesses of newspaper.’
      layer, stratum, stratification, seam, vein, band
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    2. 1.2[in singular] A broad or deep part of a specified thing:
      ‘the beams were set into the thickness of the wall’
      • ‘Controlling entry seems to have been important, as the passages sometimes had one or two small side chambers, accommodated within the thickness of the wall, as if to guard the doorway.’
      • ‘Architects found ways of making more use of the width of the theatres by moving passages to the outside of the building and placing stairways within the thickness of the walls, thus leaving more internal space for seating.’
      • ‘Each floor has an oblong chamber with a small room and spiral stair in the wall thickness at the seaward end.’
      • ‘Leading from this passage is the vaulted well chamber with its shaft set in the thickness of the walls.’
  • 2[mass noun] The state or quality of being thick:

    ‘he gave his eyes time to adjust to the thickness of the fog’
    ‘the shampoo dramatically increases the thickness of your hair’
    • ‘The salon was very impressed with the quality of the hair and the thickness, as it is hard to get enough human hair to make a full length wig.’
    • ‘Even the tunic which he was wearing had, despite the thickness of the smoke, remained unsullied.’
    • ‘Depending on your hair length, texture and thickness you could make more braids, fewer braids or even different types of braids.’
    • ‘Finally after about half a mile the thickness of the trees parted to reveal a small meadow.’
    • ‘The quiet was intense because of the thickness of the fog.’
    density, denseness, heaviness, opacity, opaqueness, impenetrability, soupiness, murkiness
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  • Plane or cut (wood) to a desired breadth or depth.

    • ‘I am finding thicknessing rosewood with my conventional smoothing planes to be a lot of work.’
    • ‘He even thicknessed fretboards with the thing.’


Old English thicness (see thick, -ness).