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

All of these capitalist touchstones are a reminder that the nation that is free to buy stuff defeated the creeping socialist horde. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "In season 3, Stranger Things’ celebration of ’80s pop culture becomes a political ideology," 8 July 2019 They are prohibited from calling out or debunking propaganda produced by European websites or media, a limitation that is intended to guard against creeping infringements on free speech. Matt Apuzzo, New York Times, "Europe Built a System to Fight Russian Meddling. It’s Struggling.," 6 July 2019 But the monthly and yearly membership fees keep creeping upward. Doreen Christensen, sun-sentinel.com, "Stream movies, TV shows for free with these alternatives to Netflix and Amazon | Doreen’s Deals," 6 July 2019 They are prohibited from calling out or debunking propaganda produced by European websites or media, a limitation that is intended to guard against creeping infringements on free speech. Matt Apuzzo, BostonGlobe.com, "Europe built a system to fight Russian meddling. It’s struggling.," 6 July 2019 The tentacles that begin creeping out of the crack only confirm that this machine, for reasons unknown, is attempting to blast its way back into the Upside-Down — but Eleven doesn’t do anything in halves. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Stranger Things Season 3," 5 July 2019 These are big, splashy events, though the industry’s steady creative churn has often been compared to a game of musical chairs, one over which a creeping sense of sameness has settled. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Chanel lost its iconic designer this year. Meet the woman who replaced him.," 2 July 2019 Kilauea spewed rivers of molten rock that swallowed hundreds of homes before creeping several miles to the ocean, ultimately engulfing two seaside housing developments there. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Alert level raised at Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa," 2 July 2019 Even displacing the action from the spooky grays of late fall to the saturated heat of midsummer shifts the tone and challenges the directors to convey creeping unease through Technicolor sweat. chicagotribune.com, "TV Review: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3," 30 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, SFChronicle.com, "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 In a number ring that includes a √-5 (in practice, mathematicians often employ number systems that use the square roots of negative numbers), duplicity creeps in: 6 is both 2 x 3 and also (1 + √-5) x (1 – √-5). Kevin Hartnett, Quanta Magazine, "New Number Systems Seek Their Lost Primes," 2 Mar. 2017 But with a new Prime Minister committed to leaving the EU at the end of October and an EU with little hope left of saving a Brexit deal, a no-deal creeps ever closer. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "Boris Johnson dodges questions on cocaine and Brexit. But it likely won't stop him being the UK's next leader," 12 June 2019 One of the goals of the book is to help boys not to grow up to be creeps. Yvonne Villarreal, latimes.com, "Ellie Kemper’s ‘Kimmy Schmidt’ makes a difference by series finale," 7 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

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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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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