creep

1 of 2

verb

crept ˈkrept How to pronounce creep (audio) ; creeping

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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.
2
a
: 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
5
a
: 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

2 of 2

noun

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
In Middleton and Star, the fire district aims to build and staff new stations to improve its emergency response times, which have been creeping up amid rising numbers of calls — and traffic and construction blocking the roads. Sarah Cutler, Idaho Statesman, 1 June 2024 An existential dread crept over me; my future hung in the balance. Seija Rankin, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 May 2024
Noun
And despite the slow and careful creep of measured warnings and watches from official sources, plenty of people can still fall for disinformation or pranks from less official realms like social media. Alex Harris, Miami Herald, 29 May 2024 As a creep, a romantic, or an action star, the actor always brings intensity and passion to his best projects. Wesley Stenzel, EW.com, 29 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for creep 

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near creep

Cite this Entry

“Creep.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/creep. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

creep

1 of 2 verb
crept ˈkrept How to pronounce creep (audio) ; creeping
1
: to move along with the body close to the ground : move slowly on hands and knees
2
: to advance slowly, timidly, or quietly
the tide crept up the beach
3
: to spread or grow over the ground or a surface
a creeping vine
4
: to slip or gradually shift position
5
: to feel as though insects were crawling on the body
the shriek made my flesh creep

creep

2 of 2 noun
1
: a creeping movement
2
a
: a sensation like that of insects creeping over one's flesh
b
: a feeling of horror
usually used in plural with the
the story gave me the creeps
3
: an unpleasant or hateful person

More from Merriam-Webster on creep

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