1

crawl

verb \ ˈkrȯl \

Definition of crawl

intransitive verb
1 a :to move on one's hands and knees
  • The baby crawled toward her mother.
b :to move slowly in a prone position without or as if without the use of limbs
  • The snake crawled into its hole.
  • The soldiers crawled forward on their bellies.
2 :to move or progress slowly or laboriously
  • traffic crawling along at 10 miles an hour
3 :to advance by guile or servility
  • crawling into favor by toadying to his boss
4 :to spread by extending stems or tendrils
  • a crawling vine
5 a :to be alive or swarming with or as if with creeping things
  • a kitchen crawling with ants
b :to have the sensation of insects creeping over one
  • the story made her flesh crawl
6 :to fail to stay evenly spread used of paint, varnish, or glaze
transitive verb
1 :to move upon in or as if in a creeping manner
  • all the creatures that crawl the earth
2 :to reprove harshly
  • they got no good right to crawl me for what I wrote
  • —Marjorie K. Rawlings

Examples of crawl in a Sentence

  1. Does the baby crawl yet?

  2. We got down on our knees and crawled through a small opening.

  3. The baby crawled across the floor toward her mother.

  4. The soldiers crawled forward on their bellies.

  5. The snake crawled into its hole.

  6. They're doing construction on the road, so traffic is crawling.

  7. I worked late into the night, and it was 2 a.m. before I finally crawled into bed.

  8. The bus crawled along the rough and narrow road.

  9. The days slowly crawled by.

  10. Work on the project has crawled to a standstill.

Recent Examples of crawl from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crawl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of crawl

Middle English, from Old Norse krafla

crawl Synonyms

Synonyms
belly, creep, grovel, slide, slither, snake, worm, wriggle
Antonyms
fly, race, speed, whiz (or whizz), zip
Related Words
crouch, squat; edge, inch, nose; skulk, sneak, steal, tiptoe
Near Antonyms
float, glide, sail; hurry, tear

2

crawl

noun

Definition of crawl

1 a :the act or action of crawling
b :slow or laborious progress
c chiefly British :a going from one pub to another
2 :a fast swimming stroke executed in a prone position with alternating overarm strokes and a flutter kick
3 :lettering that moves vertically or horizontally across a television or motion-picture screen to give information (such as performer credits or news bulletins)

Examples of crawl in a Sentence

  1. Near the construction site, traffic had slowed to a crawl.

  2. The bus was moving along at a crawl.

  3. Her strongest stroke is the crawl.

Recent Examples of crawl from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crawl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of crawl

1818

Other Broadcasting Terms



CRAWL Defined for English Language Learners

crawl

verb

Definition of crawl for English Language Learners

  • : to move on your hands and knees

  • : to move with the body close to or on the ground

  • : to move slowly


crawl

noun

Definition of crawl for English Language Learners

  • : a very slow speed

  • : a way of swimming in which the swimmer lies facing down in the water and moves first one arm over the head and then the other while kicking the legs


CRAWL Defined for Kids

1

crawl

verb \ ˈkrȯl \

Definition of crawl for Students

crawled; crawling
1 :to move slowly with the body close to the ground :move on hands and knees
2 :to go very slowly or carefully
  • Traffic was crawling along.
3 :to be covered with or have the feeling of being covered with creeping things
  • The food was crawling with flies.

2

crawl

noun

Definition of crawl for Students

1 :the act or motion of going very slowly
  • Traffic is at a crawl.
2 :a swimming stroke performed by moving first one arm over the head and then the other while kicking the legs


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