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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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

The waterworks began early in the second mile—an uphill stretch that would’ve been hard enough without the creeping wetness. Kristen Elde, SELF, "I Peed Myself During a 10K—and Still Finished the Race," 1 Dec. 2018 In the spirit of Halloween, Instagram has released a new, super spooky filter to seriously creep out your friends. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Instagram Just Dropped A New Super Scary Filter and You Need To Try It," 26 Oct. 2018 In the centuries and millennia before the breakthroughs that built skyscrapers, civilizations tweaked and tinkered with smelting techniques to make iron, creeping ever closer to steel. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 And while many cities in the South have rents that continue to creep upwards, a new report from real estate hub, RentCafe.com has found that several cities are showing year-over-year rent changes in the downward direction in May 2018. Southern Living, "Alert! These Southern Cities Are Seeing a Decrease in Rent," 5 June 2018 In limited instances, the idea of retreat has crept into the strategic thinking. Sean Patrick Cooper, The New Republic, "Is America Ready for the Next Superstorm?," 4 June 2018 As the sea creeps steadily inland in countries such as Bangladesh, and as dwindling rains put already marginal farmland out of play in Ethiopia and other places, a wave of migration triggered by a changing climate is taking shape on the horizon. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, "Wave of Climate Migration Looms, but It “Doesn't Have to Be a Crisis”," 23 Mar. 2018 February is around the corner, which means Black History Month is creeping closer and closer. Jonece Starr Dunigan, AL.com, "Al.com searching for inspiring youth for Black Magic Project," 8 Jan. 2018 There’s obviously a lot of anger and frustration here toward the US government at the moment—along with side effects like bottled rage and sometimes a creeping sense of ineptitude or impotence about our ability to do anything about it. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova On Her New Guide To Activism, Raising The Next President Of Russia, And Her "Holy War" On Fairy Tales," 12 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 To paraphrase some of Lily’s narration, there are three kinds of Salemites: a few good men and women, a few sadistic creeps, and a mass of bystanders who happily participate in misogynistic hate mobs. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Assassination Nation is a vicious, cathartic horror film about misogyny," 21 Sep. 2018 This outdoor decor idea is going to give you the creeps. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Give Your Neighbors the Creeps With Oversized Spider Halloween Decor," 5 Oct. 2018 Each year, autumn creeps in at Vermont’s northern border, painting the state in shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. Cassie Shortsleeve, Condé Nast Traveler, "See Vermont Fall Foliage in These 12 Beautiful Places," 2 Oct. 2018 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

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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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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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

Comments on creep

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