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

His dad gets all the important balls from his career, which is slowly creeping into Hall of Fame territory. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Big Sexy's historic win," 7 June 2018 The nice weather is expected to hold out for Thursday's start of the second weekend of the 2018 fest, although a chance of showers and thunderstorms creeps into the forecast by Friday. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "2018 New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 2 weather forecast in a word: perfect," 28 Apr. 2018 With the motel gone, the surrounding neighborhood’s odds are better for joining in the revitalization that’s been creeping into nearby areas to the benefit of Bethune students, Lenfest Center users, and residents alike, LISC’s Frishkoff said. Jacob Adelman, Philly.com, "North Philly motel attracted drugs and prostitution. A nonprofit bought it and shut it down," 9 Apr. 2018 Over the course of the show’s 10 seasons, though, more and more elements of the classic DC comics mythology began to creep in, including various members of the Justice League of America, who started showing up in season 4. Noel Murray, The Verge, "This weekend, stream a different version of Aquaman from home," 21 Dec. 2018 But when Charlie's friends go off to college, his past trauma and inner sadness begin to creep back in. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "21 Best Teen Movies You Can't Grow Up Without Watching," 26 July 2018 In June, sludgy, toxic blue-green algae began to creep across Lake Okeechobee in Florida. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Toxic Algal Bloom Is Spreading in Florida’s Waterways," 10 July 2018 Humidity values will begin to creep up as well, but still within the comfortable level with dew points in the upper 50s. Greg Porter, Washington Post, "PM Update: Very comfortable tonight. Sunny and warmer on Monday.," 8 July 2018 Tuesday will be much the same — sunny with a high near 84 before temperatures begin to creep up for the holiday. Ray Hollnagel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Heat to give way to thunderstorms on Sunday in southeast Wisconsin," 30 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Power creep is a problem as old as comic books and so are creative solutions to bring heroes back down to earth. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Most Read," 12 Oct. 2018 Every weapon these interstellar creeps wield is bigger, louder, and deadlier than before. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "5 Space Forces From Sci-Fi and What We Can Learn From Them," 6 July 2018 CBD’s slow creep onto respectable restaurant menus has been noted elsewhere, too. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "How Hard Should We Lean into This Whole CBD Coffee Trend?," 16 Aug. 2018 The rise of the fashionable sneaker — the result of casual Friday’s inexorable creep across the rest of the week — has footwear retailers scrambling to adjust. Sandrine Rastello, BostonGlobe.com, "Comfier shoes appear here to stay: Sneakers trend upends shoe retail," 30 May 2018 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

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

Comments on creep

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