creep

verb
\ˈkrēp \
crept\ ˈkrept \; 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 & Antonyms for creep

Synonyms: Verb

crawl, dally, dawdle, delay, diddle, dillydally, drag, lag, linger, loiter, lollygag (also lallygag), mope, poke, shilly-shally, tarry

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

Antonyms: Verb

barrel, bolt, career, course, dash, fly, hasten, hotfoot (it), hurry, race, rip, rocket, run, rush, scoot, scud, scurry, speed, tear, whirl, whisk, whiz (or whizz), zip

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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

There’s obviously a lot of anger and frustration here toward the US government at the moment—along with side effects like bottled rage and sometimes a creeping sense of ineptitude or impotence about our ability to do anything about it. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova On Her New Guide To Activism, Raising The Next President Of Russia, And Her "Holy War" On Fairy Tales," 12 Oct. 2018 The crowd began creeping into other lanes, a situation Pfleger said had the potential to become dangerous. Sara Burnett, BostonGlobe.com, "Antiviolence protesters shut down part of Chicago freeway," 7 July 2018 And when static from the synthesizer crept into the sound mix, that didn’t phase her either. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 4: In Real Life, Kaleo, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang and more," 30 June 2018 Tony would pass out in the living room or leave, and Sylvia would often creep into the children’s room, searching for the comfort of another human being. Erika Andersen, Good Housekeeping, "The Only Reason My Husband Survived Abuse and Poverty As a Child: His Faith in God," 26 June 2018 Scattered about the set, large electric fans expel ribbons of cool air but ultimately provide little relief from the jungly May heat that has crept into the studio. Jason Parham, WIRED, "How Oprah’s Network Finally Found Its Voice," 19 June 2018 College hitters who perform, especially for elite programs, tend to climb boards as the Draft approaches and Larnach's name was creeping into first-round conversations. OregonLive.com, "MLB mock drafts 2018: Oregon State Beavers' Nick Madrigal, Trevor Larnach pegged as 1st-round picks," 4 June 2018 The questions intensified and concern even crept into the minds of Padres decision makers after Mitchell pitched tentatively and allowed five runs in five innings in his Petco Park debut last week. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Astros top Padres on walk-off pop-up after Bryan Mitchell shows why he's starting," 7 Apr. 2018 Musk, who occasionally posts photos and videos on Instagram, admitted that Facebook’s influence was creeping into the photo-sharing site. Kirsten Korosec, Fortune, "Elon Musk Deletes SpaceX and Tesla Facebook Pages," 23 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This outdoor decor idea is going to give you the creeps. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Give Your Neighbors the Creeps With Oversized Spider Halloween Decor," 5 Oct. 2018 Each year, autumn creeps in at Vermont’s northern border, painting the state in shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. Cassie Shortsleeve, Condé Nast Traveler, "See Vermont Fall Foliage in These 12 Beautiful Places," 2 Oct. 2018 Once the focus is set, use lens bands or tape the lens focus ring and the zoom ring to prevent accidentally knocking the lens out of focus and preventing zoom lens creep. Michael Stillwell, Popular Mechanics, "How To Photograph a Rocket Launch," 6 July 2018 Her elder son, taking after his father, is also a colossal creep. Laura Collins-hughes, BostonGlobe.com, "Waking up is hard to do," 13 July 2018 November is the time when cold creeps in, but not in Florida, and this year's EDC Orlando lineup is sure to warm your heart and your dancing feet. Kat Bein, Billboard, "EDC Orlando 2018 Lineup: Tiesto, Bassnectar, Dillon Francis & More," 10 July 2018 Her existence helps explain the transition from more primitive reptiles to the large, diverse order that now slithers, creeps and burrows across every continent except Antarctica. Sarah Kaplan, chicagotribune.com, "Meet the 240-million-year-old 'mother of all lizards'," 30 May 2018 Feature creep and mismanagement resulted in the cancellation of Copland. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "From Win32 to Cocoa: A Windows user’s would-be conversion to Mac OS X," 26 May 2018 The starting location and exact route for the ride is under wraps to ward off creeps, organizers say. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "A guide to Saturday's World Naked Bike Ride, which skirts Chicago law a little bit," 7 June 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

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

Noun

see creep entry 1

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Learn More about creep

Dictionary Entries near creep

creel census

creeler

creem

creep

creepage

creeper

creepered

Statistics for creep

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for creep

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

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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)

: a strange person who you strongly dislike

the creeps : an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or fear

creep

verb
\ˈkrēp \
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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Comments on creep

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