\ 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

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


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


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

When the Golden Generation were at their peak, a babyfaced winger by the name of Theo Walcott was just creeping his way into the squad., "Wayne Rooney: 6 England Golden Generation Stars That Derby Should Sign Next," 6 Aug. 2019 Touch points: Yet more boardroom guff which creeps into media interviews. Suresh Rangarajan, Quartz India, "It’s 2019 and Indian businesses need to retire these clichéd phrases," 31 July 2019 The night before his start, Asher Wojciechowski left Angel Stadium in the 12th inning, minutes before Thursday crept into Friday. Nathan Ruiz,, "Orioles follow marathon by sprinting to 9-3 victory over Angels," 27 July 2019 While gators are common in Florida, Kibbe thinks this one crept into her yard from the empty wooded lot behind her house. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, "7-foot alligator makes itself at home in a Florida family's pool," 27 July 2019 Seal raw meats in storage containers, and make sure dairy doesn’t creep into the water either. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "Our Gear Guy's Foolproof Camp Kitchen Tips," 25 July 2019 Monday and Tuesday have a 30% chance of rain with temperatures creeping into the 90s. Dixita Limbachia., Detroit Free Press, "Hottest weather of the year headed to metro Detroit as temps climb to upper 90s," 15 July 2019 Some market observers suspect the political pressure has already crept into the Fed’s language and public positioning. NBC News, "Fed head Powell wants to talk policy, but he can't avoid politics," 9 July 2019 Rain doesn’t enter the picture until a 5% chance of showers creeps into the Sunday forecast. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "July 4th weekend weather: What to expect in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon and around Arizona," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With marijuana, the world slows down, and a light-hearted haze creeps over you, defamiliarizing reality. Amanda Chicago Lewis, The Verge, "Big Alcohol is pouring," 30 July 2019 Wagner then found himself on the scoresheet again to complete the turnaround before half-time, but the Germany international relied on some comical goalkeeping to see his tame header creep into the bottom corner of the net just before the break., "Bayern Munich 5-1 Gladbach: Sandro Wagner Sparks Comeback With Brace to Down Weak Foals," 14 Apr. 2018 As warm weather creeps in across the country, so does race season. Abby Cuffey, Woman's Day, "Run Like a Girl," 23 Mar. 2010 Even today, scientists bounce lasers off mirrors that astronauts left behind on the lunar surface, precisely measuring the moon’s distance and slow outward creep. Korey Haynes, Discover Magazine, "Earth's Moon: The Basics of its Origin, Evolution and Exploration," 12 June 2019 Berkeley’s slow creep away from the ideals that originally brought him there clearly disturbs him. Rick Paulas,, "Defender of the homeless remains committed, and angry," 12 June 2019 That's how privacy-invading technology - the stuff of China's police state - creeps into American life. Anchorage Daily News, "To board a plane without a ticket, just give up your face -- and your privacy," 11 June 2019 But Jewish gangsters were the ones who consistently took the path of violence, providing the most organized physical response to the fascist creep in America. Eric Ginsburg, Teen Vogue, "American Nazis and Nazi Sympathizers Have Been Around Since the 1930’s," 26 Nov. 2018 In Moore’s telling, that gaze is inseparable from the piggish entitlement of catcallers and casting-couch creeps. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Cruising in the Age of Consent," 19 June 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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More Definitions for creep



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

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 Encyclopedia article about creep

Comments on creep

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of or relating to the heavens

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