\ 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



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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This breakdown fueled the creeping sense of disorder that haunted the late decade. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "What the Death of iTunes Says About Our Digital Habits," 2 Jan. 2020 The number of days a property sits on the market is creeping up, too, and more homes are selling below their initial asking price.., "Housing market hits tepid patch - The Boston Globe," 27 Dec. 2019 And as their state governments remain quiet on the issue, the Dakotas are two of only a handful of states whose annual greenhouse gas emissions are creeping up by the year. Sarah Mearhoff, Twin Cities, "As Minnesota works toward climate policy reform, Dakotas see emissions increase," 25 Dec. 2019 Precipitation is creeping into the region by Monday morning. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Rain ends later today, then it’s clearer and breezy tonight into Sunday," 14 Dec. 2019 The hottest hot temperatures are also creeping higher—exactly what scientists would expect. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "The decade we finally woke up to climate change," 12 Dec. 2019 For Muslims, especially, there are creeping reasons to worry. The Economist, "Unite and rule India’s constitution helped sustain the world’s biggest democracy," 12 Dec. 2019 The specter of recession is creeping in the shadows for the first time in more than a decade. Fortune Staff, Fortune, "2020 Crystal Ball: Predictions for the Economy, Politics, Technology, and More," 2 Dec. 2019 The dynasty isn’t in decline, but doubt is creeping into the cracks of the foundation. Joseph Goodman |, al, "Iron Bowl infants: Inexperience could hurt Alabama against Auburn," 26 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The overall upward creep of prices has also led insurance premiums to rise, taking a bite out of tax revenue, wages and corporate profits, too. Margot Sanger-katz, New York Times, "In the U.S., an Angioplasty Costs $32,000. Elsewhere? Maybe $6,400.," 27 Dec. 2019 In a time when Craigslist was for creeps and AIM was for your friends, Chatroulette held space for the bigness of the internet. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "Chatroulette Was Shorthand for Chaos Online. Then Came the 2010s," 24 Dec. 2019 The steadily increasing megapixel camera, the always more powerful processor, the unending price creep. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Google Finally Makes a Phone for the Rest of Us," 7 May 2019 Dear Abby: Girlfriend leaves The One to move cross-country to work for a shady creep5. oregonlive, "Top 10 Dear Abby columns of 2019: Big sloppy dog takes the prize," 24 Dec. 2019 Not a rodent, per se, but a weasel-like human, the kind of guy who plays drug dealers and police informants and creeps. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Swedish Character Actor Who Became an American Action Hero," 31 Oct. 2019 Quartz has been tracking signs of Christmas creep for the past five years, as measured by the day that Oxford Street, London’s most famous shopping avenue, switches on its Christmas lights. Jason Karaian, Quartz, "London is bravely pushing back against Christmas creep this year," 17 Nov. 2019 Earthquake scientists not affiliated with the study called the discovery of the triggered creep on the Garlock fault scientifically interesting that should be understood better, but emphasize that its implications are not clear. Los Angeles Times, "Unprecedented movement detected on California earthquake fault capable of 8.0 temblor," 17 Oct. 2019 What began as a convenient digital chip-and-pin card for specific services had become a classic case of function creep. Washington Post, "Emmanuel Macron Wants to Scan Your Face," 4 Oct. 2019

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


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

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Creep.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for creep


How to pronounce creep (audio)

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



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

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


\ 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.



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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for creep

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with creep

Spanish Central: Translation of creep

Nglish: Translation of creep for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on creep

What made you want to look up creep? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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