Definition of thixotropy in US English:



  • The property of becoming less viscous when subjected to an applied stress, shown for example by some gels which become temporarily fluid when shaken or stirred.

    • ‘A professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia, and two colleagues from Milan offered thixotropy as an explanation.’
    • ‘A very desirable property in many applications is thixotropy, in which the material behaves as a gel or very viscous liquid at rest or subject to mild shear, but flows freely when subjected to a larger shear.’
    • ‘When cold it is difficult or impossible to ‘shake out’ the stiffening due to enhanced thixotropy.’
    • ‘In these cases, then, thixotropy cannot be the explanation.’
    • ‘Another property of muscles that increases resistance is thixotropy.’


1920s: from Greek thixis ‘touching’ + tropē ‘turning’.