1 of 2

noun (1)

: a natural stream of water normally smaller than and often tributary to a river
chiefly British : a small inlet or bay narrower and extending farther inland than a cove
archaic : a narrow or winding passage


2 of 2

noun (2)

plural Creek or Creeks : a member of any of a group of Indigenous American peoples that formed a confederacy in Georgia and eastern Alabama in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and that were forcibly removed to Indian Territory in 1836 to 1840
plural Creek or Creeks : a member of the people who comprised the nucleus of the Creek confederacy : muscogee sense 1
: the Muskogean language of this people : muscogee sense 2

Note: Creek is the name by which the Muscogee people were known to English settlers prior to their forcible removal to Indian Territory. Present-day members of this nation live under the name Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

up the creek
: in a difficult or perplexing situation

Examples of creek in a Sentence

Noun (1) The children waded in the creek. The coast is dotted with tiny creeks.
Recent Examples on the Web
Brief bands of heavy rains could also cause some urban and creek flooding. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023 Overnight, the street in front of her home had become a creek. Winston Choi-Schagrin Dave Sanders, New York Times, 5 Nov. 2023 Kentucky and West Virginia have been struck with deadly and costly flooding from massive rainstorms that combined with steep terrain to overwhelm small streams and creeks. Ella Nilsen, CNN, 20 Sep. 2023 The next night, Cavalcante was spotted by a resident in a creek bed on the resident’s property in Pennsbury Township, Bivens said, a few miles southeast of the prison. Dakin Andone, CNN, 12 Sep. 2023 The service reminded the public to avoid flood prone areas like creeks, drainages and low water crossings, to have a reliable way to receive weather warnings and to never drive into flood waters. Abigail Celaya, The Arizona Republic, 1 Sep. 2023 Advertisement Critics say data centers are placing an increasingly unmanageable burden on the local power grid while endangering the surrounding environment by adding more impermeable surfaces that can funnel urban runoff to nearby creeks. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, 12 July 2023 The land abuts the Boyd Sartell Wildlife Management Area on the lake, and is home to a creek, bald eagles, nesting colonies of water birds and Blanding's turtles. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, 16 Apr. 2021 Leaders of the effort to rename the Johnson County creek plan to gather public input before a new name is chosen. NBC News, 29 Mar. 2021 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English crike, creke, from Old Norse -kriki bend

First Known Use

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun (2)

1725, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of creek was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near creek

Cite this Entry

“Creek.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
chiefly British : a small narrow inlet or bay
: a stream of water usually smaller than a river


2 of 2 noun
: a member of a confederacy of American Indian peoples formerly occupying most of Alabama and Georgia

More from Merriam-Webster on creek

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