\ ˈkrēp How to pronounce creep (audio) \
crept\ ˈkrept How to pronounce creep (audio) \; creeping

Definition of creep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to move along with the body prone and close to the ground A spider was creeping along the bathroom floor.
b : to move slowly on hands and knees He crept toward the edge of the cliff.
2a : 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.
3 : to have the sensation of being covered with creeping things The thought made his flesh creep.
4 of a plant : to spread or grow over a surface rooting at intervals or clinging with tendrils, stems, or aerial roots
5a : to slip or gradually shift position The high temperatures of the jet engine cause the turbine blade to creep.
b : to change shape permanently from prolonged stress or exposure to high temperatures



Definition of creep (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a movement of or like creeping traffic moving at a creep
2 : 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.
3 : a feed trough accessible only by young animals and used especially to supply special or supplementary feed

called also creep feeder

4 : the slow change of dimensions of an object from prolonged exposure to high temperature or stress
5 : an unpleasant or obnoxious person
6 : a slow but persistent increase or elevation This political inertia … makes budget creep inevitable.The Wall Street Journal

Synonyms for creep

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of creep in a Sentence

Verb She crept toward the edge of the roof and looked over. I caught him creeping down the stairs to the kitchen. She crept into bed next to her sleeping husband. The hours crept by as we waited for morning. a train creeping through the town The price of gasoline has crept back up to three dollars a gallon. A few mistakes crept in during the last revision of the paper. new words creeping into the language Noun I get the creeps every time he walks by. I hate snakes. They give me the creeps. That guy gives me the creeps. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But by the early-to-mid-2000s, genres that seemed worlds apart in the late Seventies had started to creep closer together. Hank Shteamer, Rolling Stone, 5 May 2022 At the nine-minute mark in Game 2, Alvarado tried to creep from behind Paul and steal the ball in the backcourt after New Orleans missed a shot and the Suns rebounded. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 26 Apr. 2022 Doubt has the potential to creep in and create problems that weren't there before, muddying your way forward. Tarot Astrologers,, 2 Apr. 2022 The tornado peeled off the roof, allowing light to creep through ceiling vent covers. Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2022 Until recent years, Zeiders’ life was focused primarily around sports, although music would creep in. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 27 Jan. 2022 After draining one of the two, the Tigers' two-point lead left just enough room for the Trojans (13-1) to creep in and pull off the inexplicable comeback. Joel Lorenzi, The Indianapolis Star, 21 Jan. 2022 Temperatures will begin to creep up into warmer territory starting Thursday, with the high expected at 82 and a low of 63. Joe Mario Pedersen, Orlando Sentinel, 20 Apr. 2022 After that, temperatures should begin to creep back toward seasonal norms and chances of precipitation will decrease. oregonlive, 12 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ballooned by bad project management and feature creep, Copland became a collection of features rather than a working OS. PCMAG, 4 May 2022 Mission creep can also cause much sorrow in the war between Ukraine and Russia. Michael Krepon, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Your wife is the one who is confused by allowing this creep to come into your house. Annie Lane, oregonlive, 8 Feb. 2022 Your wife is the one who is confused by allowing this creep to come into your house. cleveland, 8 Feb. 2022 Indeed, meeting creep during the pandemic grew as managers scheduled more check-ins and prep calls to compensate for not being able to see their employees face-to-face. Sarah Todd, Quartz, 19 Apr. 2022 But the slight tweaks, which range from a 20% to 33% price hike, are a sign that inflation’s creep is everywhere. Chris Morris, Fortune, 7 Apr. 2022 Some EVs come with a vehicle creep feature that allows the vehicle to automatically move from a standstill when the brake pedal is released, replicating the feeling of an ICE. Bymorgan Korn, ABC News, 2 Apr. 2022 Kurkov’s translator, Boris Dralyuk, renders the warmth of Sergey’s inner voice from the original Russian without letting the earnestness creep into the saccharine. Jennifer Wilson, New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of creep


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for creep

Verb and Noun

Middle English crepen, from Old English crēopan; akin to Old Norse krjūpa to creep

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Time Traveler for creep

Time Traveler

The first known use of creep was before the 12th century

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Statistics for creep

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Creep.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for creep


\ ˈkrēp How to pronounce creep (audio) \
crept\ ˈkrept \; creeping

Kids Definition of creep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move along with the body close to the ground or floor : move slowly on hands and knees : crawl
2 : to move or advance slowly, timidly, or quietly Moving quietly, I crept halfway down the stairs and listened.— Avi, Crispin: The Cross of Lead
3 : to grow or spread along the ground or along a surface Ivy was creeping up a wall.



Kids Definition of creep (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a strange or unlikable person
2 : a slow, timid, or quiet movement
3 : a feeling of nervousness or fear usually used in pl. Spiders give me the creeps.

More from Merriam-Webster on creep

Nglish: Translation of creep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of creep for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about creep


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