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

Example Sentences

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
His booming voice grew quieter, his famously mobile frame began to creak and his long crusade was coming to an end. Jon Grinspan, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Dec. 2022 Britons are struggling to get passports, driving tests or appointments with doctors as public services creak in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and funding shortfalls. Max Colchester, WSJ, 5 Sep. 2022 If the piece is in good condition, the arm won’t wobble or creak. Washington Post, 3 May 2022 The aging boards still creak as people walk along the porch to the front door. Tom Henderson | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 21 Apr. 2022 Faced with harsh economic and diplomatic wounds, Russia will start to creak and crumble, and before long its citizens will grow weary of his sclerotic, autocratic governance. Jack Devine, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2022 The snow was cold enough to creak and shiver beneath my skis, and the yellow birch forest strained the morning sunshine into silvered lines of shadow. Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2022 Thad Young rose from the bench midway through the second quarter in Milwaukee and spectators in the front row at Fiserv Forum could almost hear his knees creak. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Nov. 2021 If using flower pots: Start by elevating the pots on bricks to creak airflow from the bottom. San Antonio Express-News, 11 Oct. 2021
Or that the gate is said to be intentionally left unoiled, the better to ensure its atmospheric creak. Brett Martin, New York Times, 5 Oct. 2022 Traction was steady, and the chassis was stable and creak-free even with one or two wheels — on opposite corners, natch — in the air. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 31 Oct. 2022 In any case, my first guess creak (as in the door creaked rather than the cool, winding creek) actually ended up being a great opener. Erik Kain, Forbes, 3 July 2022 An iceberg splits with the same yawning creak as a tree beginning its fall to earth. Greg Noone, Outside Online, 15 Oct. 2020 Less impressive was our tester’s often brittle, fidgety ride and the occasional creak and groan from the body over particularly nasty Milanese ruts and potholes. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 19 Apr. 2022 The room was silent — no beating hearts, ticking clocks or gnostic ravens — except for the creak of a chair and the soft flutter of a turning page. Washington Post, 2 Mar. 2022 This heated creak, warmed to around 85 degrees Fahrenheit by a natural subterranean spring, puts swimmers in the thick of the North Island's wilderness, from the lush jungle backdrops to a waterfall gently cascading into the creek. Stephanie Vermillion, Travel + Leisure, 20 Nov. 2021 But good sound design requires more than just the ability to re-create the creak of a door hinge or the bustle and clatter of a lunch counter. Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2021 See More

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

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 8 Dec. 2022.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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