1 of 2


creaked; creaking; creaks

intransitive verb

: to make a prolonged grating or squeaking sound often as a result of being worn-out
also : to proceed slowly with or as if with creaking wheels
the story creaks along to a dull conclusion


2 of 2


: a rasping or grating noise

Examples of creak in a Sentence

Verb The old floorboards creaked under our feet. The porch roof creaked with the heavy weight of the snow. Noun the creak of a floorboard
Recent Examples on the Web
The new rule by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees interstate electricity transmission, is the most significant attempt in years to upgrade and expand the country’s creaking electricity network. Brad Plumer, New York Times, 13 May 2024 Years of budget cuts mean the NHS is creaking, and waiting times and survival rates for cancers across the board have slipped in comparison with other countries. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 26 Apr. 2024 Suddenly, the well creaked to life, producing for a dead company. Mark Olalde, ProPublica, 22 Feb. 2024 Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Mieko Takahashi WATCH How Oysters Are Made with Brad Check the oysters at the 5-minute mark and transfer any that have creaked open to a platter of rock salt or a heavy-duty wooden cutting board. Hannah Lee Leidy, Bon Appétit, 14 Dec. 2023 Justin Simien made sure every crypt door creaked and every tombstone quaked in Haunted Mansion, his spirited movie adaptation of the beloved Disney parks attractions operating at several resorts around the world. Joey Nolfi,, 28 July 2023 Vast swaths of the United States are at risk of running short of power as electricity-hungry data centers and clean-technology factories proliferate around the country, leaving utilities and regulators grasping for credible plans to expand the nation’s creaking power grid. Evan Halper, Washington Post, 7 Mar. 2024 The ministers wasted no time before pressing London for more money to patch up Northern Ireland's creaking public services. Jill Lawless The Associated Press,, 6 Feb. 2024 Up the creaking stairs to the top floor, then up another staircase to the attic. Jesse Ball, Harper's Magazine, 9 Jan. 2024
Now, the wood floor creaks even under the carpeted aisles as Tony Caldwell makes his way through the high-ceilinged former dance hall. Eleanor Nash, Kansas City Star, 25 Mar. 2024 The chapel was so old that creaks shuttered across the floor like lightning. Frederick Kaufman, Harper's Magazine, 26 Feb. 2024 Feel the noise Rumble, wheeze, groan, roar, whoosh, clank, thud, creak and repeat — this, for me, is the onset of bus reverie. Mark Gozonsky, Los Angeles Times, 25 Mar. 2024 This includes noises in seemingly quiet environments, such as the whoosh of a fan, the creak of a floor, or the wind’s wail outside a window. Judith Graham, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Mar. 2024 When midnight strikes, people begin to die and their gruesome (and often inventive) murders expose Y2K’s creaks. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Mar. 2024 Thanks to the restoration process, none of the trim wobbles or creaks, and no levers sit limp. Alex Goy, Ars Technica, 4 Oct. 2023 And zero creaks or rattles emanate from the body or drivetrain, possibly the truest testament to EMC’s extensive experience. Michael Van Runkle, Robb Report, 14 Feb. 2024 And unlike original examples of the model, there’s not a creak or rattle to be heard. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 19 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'creak.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English creken to croak, of imitative origin

First Known Use


1583, in the meaning defined above


1604, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of creak was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near creak

Cite this Entry

“Creak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to make a long scraping or squeaking sound
also : to go slowly with or as if with creaking wheels
creak noun

More from Merriam-Webster on creak

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