creep

verb
\ˈkrēp \
crept\ˈkrept \; 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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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

That seems to be the driver of creeping authoritarianism in Hungary. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 There are several dark and cool areas where moisture can creep in and remain after cleaning; plus, residue from fruit and vegetable sugars can act as a nutrition source for those same bacteria. Nicole Spector /, NBC News, "The kitchen is the germiest room. Here's how to deep clean everything.," 3 July 2018 Or maybe the ancient tradition of farm bills linking the arms of rural agricultural interests and urban retailers and food stamp beneficiaries will prevail one more time, and this Farm Bill will creep across the finish line. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Senate Clears Farm Bill, Setting Up Fight With House GOP Over SNAP," 28 June 2018 Expect drier conditions on Tuesday with temperatures creeping back up to the lower to mid 70s. Christine Clarridge, The Seattle Times, "Where’s that sunshine? Welcome to a ‘typical late June’ week in Seattle area," 25 June 2018 Taka doesn’t want to give up on helping Yuudai find his inner hard worker, but he was slightly creeped out by how easily Yuudai stopped crying and caring the night before. Mariah Smith, The Cut, "The Final Scene of This Episode of Terrace House Is a Great Piece of Television," 29 May 2018 One co-owner of a San Francisco Bay Area barbershop patronized by some Google employees was a little creeped out by the privacy implications. Matt O'brien, The Christian Science Monitor, "Humanlike Google voice makes a hair appointment. Should we be concerned?," 10 May 2018 While there's something sweet in children's tangible remembrances — losing that first tooth is definitely big — some parents are a little creeped out by the box's other compartments. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "This Baby Box Has Completely Divided a Generation of Parents," 20 Dec. 2016 At his peak, Arrieta could overpower hitters with velocity that crept up to 94-95 mph. Scott Lauber, Philly.com, "Should the Phillies be concerned about Jake Arrieta? | Extra Innings," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Once the focus is set, use lens bands or tape the lens focus ring and the zoom ring to prevent accidentally knocking the lens out of focus and preventing zoom lens creep. Michael Stillwell, Popular Mechanics, "How To Photograph a Rocket Launch," 6 July 2018 Her elder son, taking after his father, is also a colossal creep. Laura Collins-hughes, BostonGlobe.com, "Waking up is hard to do," 13 July 2018 November is the time when cold creeps in, but not in Florida, and this year's EDC Orlando lineup is sure to warm your heart and your dancing feet. Kat Bein, Billboard, "EDC Orlando 2018 Lineup: Tiesto, Bassnectar, Dillon Francis & More," 10 July 2018 Her existence helps explain the transition from more primitive reptiles to the large, diverse order that now slithers, creeps and burrows across every continent except Antarctica. Sarah Kaplan, chicagotribune.com, "Meet the 240-million-year-old 'mother of all lizards'," 30 May 2018 Feature creep and mismanagement resulted in the cancellation of Copland. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "From Win32 to Cocoa: A Windows user’s would-be conversion to Mac OS X," 26 May 2018 The starting location and exact route for the ride is under wraps to ward off creeps, organizers say. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "A guide to Saturday's World Naked Bike Ride, which skirts Chicago law a little bit," 7 June 2018 But for some frustrated by the scooter onslaught, fighting technology and Silicon Valley’s insistent creep into our lives is what the scooter battle is really about. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "In the Scooter Wars of 2018, it's not really about the scooters," 21 June 2018 Hard news creeps in, of course, but not the kind that leads to shouting matches. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Father-daughter media favorites, Dick and JoAnne Purtan, bond over radio," 17 June 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

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

Noun

see creep entry 1

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Learn More about creep

Dictionary Entries near creep

creel census

creeler

creem

creep

creepage

creeper

creepered

Statistics for creep

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for creep

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

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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)

: a strange person who you strongly dislike

the creeps : an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or fear

creep

verb
\ˈkrēp \
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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Comments on creep

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