creep

verb
\ ˈkrēp How to pronounce creep (audio) \
crept\ ˈkrept How to pronounce crept (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

creep

noun

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

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Synonyms for creep

Synonyms: Verb

encroach, inch, worm

Synonyms: Noun

bastard, beast, bleeder [British], blighter [chiefly British], boor, bounder, bugger, buzzard, cad, chuff, churl, clown, cretin, crud [slang], crumb [slang], cur, dirtbag [slang], dog, fink, heel, hound, jerk, joker, louse, lout, pill, rat, rat fink, reptile, rotter, schmuck [slang], scum, scumbag [slang], scuzzball [slang], skunk, sleaze, sleazebag [slang], sleazeball [slang], slime, slimeball [slang], slob, snake, so-and-so, sod [chiefly British], stinkard, stinker, swine, toad, varmint, vermin

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In recent seasons, collections started creeping in the direction of triple digits, then blew right past 100 with no looking back. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Fall 2019’s Top 10 Most-Viewed Collections," 11 Mar. 2019 But a conspiracy theory that has crept up online in recent years asks the question, most recently on Reddit: Was it actually the Titanic that sank? David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Wild Conspiracy That the Titanic Never Sank," 27 Feb. 2019 But pressure does creep in: At Target, workers who carry online orders to shoppers’ cars now hear a honking horn on their devices, instead of a generic bell, to signify that customers are waiting. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "U.S. retailers hope higher pay will buy more efficient workers," 1 Jan. 2019 However, those involved could not be sure other biases had not crept in to the program, and as a result it was scrapped entirely last year. James Vincent, The Verge, "Amazon reportedly scraps internal AI recruiting tool that was biased against women," 10 Oct. 2018 Then in March, CNN reported that Isaac’s private Twitter account had retweeted posts from anti-Muslim figures alleging creeping Sharia law in the United States, and that Islam was trying to destroy the country from within. NBC News, "Trump's pick to lead U.N. migration agency is rejected," 29 June 2018 This viral Twitter video has many users perplexed, and even creeped out, about how much our plants actually move around in a single day. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "You Won't Believe How Much Your Plant Actually Moves in a Day," 4 Mar. 2019 My [now] husband stared at me for approximately one minute and 40 seconds before saying anything, which creeped me out. Vogue, "New York’s Coolest Matchmaker Shares Her Go-To Beauty Equation for Valentine’s Dates," 14 Feb. 2019 Much like the Pokémon Go craze of 2016—but with the addition of a creeping sense of horror—the Google Art & Culture face-matching app was all anyone could talk about in the first weeks of 2018. The Editors, Marie Claire, "Marie Claire Editors Tell You Their Favorite Things You Probably Missed in 2018," 31 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Under the too-bright recessed lighting of an anonymous hotel bar on Broadway, his overly manicured facial hair had a whiff of disingenuous creep, too. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "After 10 Years of Dating in New York, This Is What I’ve Learned," 11 Feb. 2019 Resistance and fear from drivers has been the major stumbling block to the creep of by-wire technologies into consumer cars. Zachary Palmer, Popular Mechanics, "Why Brake-By-Wire Is Coming To Your Car," 12 July 2018 Some dupes are fine, especially for things like creeps. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Artifact beta: Learn how to play Valve’s first card game… and how to pay," 17 Nov. 2018 So pretty good system populated by grubby creeps that are called human beings that steal. Fox News, "Grenell: NKorea feels pressure of Trump's tough diplomacy," 26 May 2018 Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes: When self-doubt creeps in, do some detective work. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome," 8 Nov. 2018 Some creeps, however, decided to leave some inappropriate comments about her body instead. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Now People Are Shaming Kaley Cuoco For Her Nipples, and Will This Ever Stop?," 24 July 2018 Inside, the rules are simple: Don’t be a creep, and maintain strict privacy. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "Can ‘Illuminati Tinder’ Save Us All?," 27 June 2018 Nick, unfortunately ends up being a major creep, one who attempts to take advantage of both Veronica and Cheryl. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything That Happened On "Riverdale" Season 2," 8 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of creep

Verb

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

Noun

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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More Definitions for creep

creep

verb

English Language Learners Definition of creep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move slowly with the body close to the ground
: to move slowly and quietly especially in order to not be noticed
: to go or seem to go very slowly

creep

noun

English Language Learners Definition of creep (Entry 2 of 2)

informal
: a strange person who you strongly dislike
: an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or fear

creep

verb
\ 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
3 : to grow or spread along the ground or along a surface Ivy was creeping up a wall.

creep

noun

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on creep

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with creep

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for creep

Spanish Central: Translation of creep

Nglish: Translation of creep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of creep for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about creep

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