Meaning of CREEP in English


I. ˈkrēp verb

( crept -krept ; crept ; creeping ; creeps )

Etymology: Middle English crepen, from Old English crēopan; akin to Old Norse krjūpa to creep, Middle Low German kroppen to bend, Lithuanian grubineti to stumble, Greek grypos bent — more at cradle

intransitive verb

1. : to move along with the body prone and close to or touching the ground : move slowly on all fours : crawl

watched the foxes creep into their den


a. : to go very slowly

the hours crept by

creeping like snail, unwillingly to school — Shakespeare

: to go timidly or cautiously or so as to escape notice or attention

creep away into retirement

b. : to go or enter stealthily and secretly : steal

creep and intrude into the fold — John Milton

: to advance or enter unnoticed little by little : insinuate itself or oneself

age creeps upon us

a note of irritation had crept into his voice

c. : to move or behave with servility or exaggerated humility : cringe

you'll come creeping back when your money is gone


a. of a liquid : to spread slowly and steadily over a surface

b. of sand or loose soil : to shift or advance slowly

sand dunes creeping inland year by year

c. of a plant : to spread or grow over the ground or other surface by rooting at intervals or clinging with tendrils, stems, or aerial roots


a. : to move or stir slightly by swelling or shrinking (as the skin of the body)

the thought makes my flesh creep

b. : to slip, slide, or gradually shift position (as a belt on a pulley, a bearing on an axle, a steel rail on a supporting surface) because of strain or vibration

c. of a film of paint or emulsion : to slide or sag on drying

d. : to change shape permanently from prolonged stress or exposure to high temperatures or both (as turbine blades or flooring material)

5. Britain : to drag in deep water with creepers (as to recover a cable) — used with for


a. : to slip or become slightly displaced

b. of railroad rails : to shift longitudinally

7. : to rise above the surface of a solution upon the walls of a vessel

salt crystals creep in a voltaic cell

8. of an arrow : to edge forward just before release


a. of a belt : to slip or slide backwards on a pulley by reason of the extension or contraction of the belt as the tension is changed in passing from the tight side to the slack side or vice versa

b. of metal : to undergo creep

transitive verb

archaic : to creep along or over

II. noun

( -s )

1. : the act of creeping : a movement of or like creeping : a very slow pace

traffic moving at a creep

the creep of the centuries


a. : a tightening of the skin of the body caused by horror, disgust, or fear especially of the strange or supernatural : shiver , shudder — usually used in plural

snakes give me the cold creeps

b. : a strong sensation (as of unease, revulsion, or fear) induced in a person by some other person or thing — usually used in plural

he's crazy … he gives me the creeps — Carson McCullers

3. : a pen or other enclosure so fenced that young animals can enter while adults are excluded and used especially to supply special or supplementary feed

4. : grapnel , drag , creeper


a. : a slow longitudinal movement of the rails of a track under traffic

b. : gradual retrograde movement (as of a belt on a pulley or a tire on a wheel)

c. : the drawing together of the edges of two metal parts as a result of expansion from the heat due to welding ; also : the amount the edges are drawn together

d. : the play or slack in the trigger mechanism of a firearm before it releases the hammer or firing pin

6. : a gradual usually downhill movement (as of loose rock, soil, sand, or shale) that is due mainly to gravity together with freezing and thawing or wetting and drying


a. : a slow rising of the floor of a mining gallery occasioned by the pressure of incumbent strata upon the pillars or sides; a gradual movement of mining ground

b. : a slight sometimes audible movement of rock along a fault without producing a perceptible earthquake

8. : the slow change of dimensions of an object (as of wood, rubber, plastics) due to prolonged exposure to high temperature or stress: as

a. : deformation of a concrete structure or a casting under sustained stress

b. : progressive plastic flow of a metal under constant or nearly constant stress — usually used of slow deformation of hot metal under a long-sustained load of magnitude less than would deform it in a brief time

9. creeps plural : a deficiency disease especially of sheep and cattle associated with abnormal calcium-phosphorus ratio in the diet and characterized by progressive anemia, painful softening of the bones, and a stiff slow gait

10. slang

a. : a sneak thief that works in or in connivance with a cheap hotel or flophouse

he was rolled by a creep

also : a stealthy snooper (as for facts useful for blackmail)

b. : an unpleasant, unattractive, obnoxious, or insignificant person

11. : relaxation 6

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.