verb \ˈkrēp\

: to move slowly with the body close to the ground

: to move slowly and quietly especially in order to not be noticed

: to go or seem to go very slowly

crept \ˈkrept\ creep·ing

Full Definition of CREEP

intransitive verb
a :  to move along with the body prone and close to the ground
b :  to move slowly on hands and knees
a :  to go very slowly <the hours crept by>
b :  to go timidly or cautiously so as to escape notice <she crept away from the festive scene>
c :  to enter or advance gradually so as to be almost unnoticed <age creeps up on us> <a note of irritation crept into her voice>
:  to have the sensation of being covered with creeping things <the thought made his flesh creep>
of a plant :  to spread or grow over a surface rooting at intervals or clinging with tendrils, stems, or aerial roots
a :  to slip or gradually shift position
b :  to change shape permanently from prolonged stress or exposure to high temperatures

Examples of CREEP

  1. She crept toward the edge of the roof and looked over.
  2. I caught him creeping down the stairs to the kitchen.
  3. She crept into bed next to her sleeping husband.
  4. The hours crept by as we waited for morning.
  5. a train creeping through the town
  6. The price of gasoline has crept back up to three dollars a gallon.
  7. A few mistakes crept in during the last revision of the paper.
  8. new words creeping into the language

Origin of CREEP

Middle English crepen, from Old English crēopan; akin to Old Norse krjūpa to creep
First Known Use: before 12th century



: a strange person who you strongly dislike

the creeps : an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or fear

Full Definition of CREEP

:  a movement of or like creeping <traffic moving at a creep>
:  a distressing sensation like that caused by the creeping of insects over one's flesh; especially :  a feeling of apprehension or horror —usually used in plural with the <that gives me the creeps>
:  a feed trough accessible only by young animals and used especially to supply special or supplementary feed —called also creep feeder
:  the slow change of dimensions of an object from prolonged exposure to high temperature or stress
:  an unpleasant or obnoxious person
:  a slow but persistent increase or elevation <this political inertia … makes budget creep inevitable — Wall Street Journal>

Examples of CREEP

  1. I get the creeps every time he walks by.
  2. I hate snakes. They give me the creeps.
  3. That guy gives me the creeps.

First Known Use of CREEP


Related to CREEP


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Slow change in the dimensions of a material from prolonged stress. Most common metals exhibit creep behaviour. In the creep test, loads below those that ordinarily cause plastic flow or fracture are applied to the material, and the deformation over a period of time (creep strain) under constant load is measured, usually with an extensometer or strain gauge. Time to failure is also measured against stress. Once creep strain versus time is plotted, various mathematical techniques are available for extrapolating creep behaviour beyond the test times; thus, designers can use thousand-hour test data, for example, to predict ten-thousand-hour behaviour. See also testing machine.


Next Word in the Dictionary: creepage
Previous Word in the Dictionary: creem
All Words Near: creep

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up creep? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).