verb (past and past participle crept /krɛpt/)[no object]
- 1 [usually with adverbial of direction] Move slowly and carefully in order to avoid being heard or noticed: he crept downstairs, hardly making any noise they were taught how to creep up on an enemyMore example sentences
crawl, move on all fours, move on hands and knees, pull oneself, inch, edge, slither, slide, squirm, wriggle, writhe, worm, worm one's way, insinuate oneselfsneak, steal, slip, slink, sidle, skulk, pad, prowl, tiptoe, pussyfoot, soft-shoe, tread warily, move stealthily, move furtively, move unnoticed, walk quietly
- Sometimes, when Josie knew know no one would notice, she'd creep downstairs to the kitchen as quiet as a mouse and tiptoe out the back door when the cook wasn't looking.
- As Jack slowly crept forward he heard a soft buzzing off in the corner.
- After signaling everyone to stay outside, I carefully crept back into my room where I heard them discussing, yet again, me.
- 1.1(Of a thing) move very slowly and inexorably: the fog was creeping up from the marshMore example sentences
- At some points the cave walls crept slowly closer to the path we walked, before steering away again into the distance.
- As the morning slowly crept forward, more and more things began to stir.
- The bus crept slowly through the viscous traffic pouring into the city.
- 1.2(Of a plant) grow along the ground or other surface by means of extending stems or branches: (as adjective creeping) tufts of fine leaves grow on creeping rhizomesMore example sentences
- Branches and trunks twist and bend as they grow, creeping horizontally along the ground as well as reaching toward the sky.
- This plant is happy to creep along the ground or to climb into trees and into hedges.
- Because of the harsh environment, most plants that survive in the tundra are dwarfed, and many have stems that creep along the ground.
- 2 (creep in/into) (Of a negative characteristic or fact) occur or develop gradually and almost imperceptibly: errors crept into his game (as adjective creeping) the creeping privatization of the health serviceMore example sentences
- Zoe's illness took her family by surprise and crept into their lives gradually.
- Sometimes that cold creeps in gradually and the end result is pneumonia or even a heart attack.
- That was before errors really crept into their game to deny them two points.
- 2.1 (creep up) Increase slowly but steadily in number or amount: gas prices have been creeping up for a whileMore example sentences
- The idea is that the risks are lower because your investment creeps up in value more steadily over the years.
- Fixed rates started creeping up at the end of last summer in anticipation of increases in the base rate.
- So, the blue line creeps up as the value of your gift increases.
nounBack to top
- 1 • informal A detestable person: I thought he was a nasty little creepMore example sentences
rogue, villain, wretch, reprobate• informal beast, pig, swine, rat, bastard, louse, snake, snake in the grass, skunk, dog, weasel, lowlife, scumbag, heel, stinker, stinkpot, bad lot, son of a bitch, s.o.b., nasty piece of workBritish • informal scroteNorth American • informal rat fink, finkAustralian • informal dingo• vulgar slang shit
- Unfortunately, these creeps are hiding behind the First Amendment and doing things that in no civilized society should be tolerated.
- Guys aren't the only insensitive creeps out there.
- I like the creeps and weirdos on public transport.
- 1.1A person who behaves obsequiously in the hope of advancement.More example sentences
sycophant, obsequious person, crawler, groveller, truckler, toady, fawner, flatterer, lickspittle, doormat, kowtower, spaniel, Uriah Heep• archaic toad-eater
- I guess some people thought I was a creep, offering sycophantic praise of someone who happens to be my boss.
- 2 [mass noun] Slow steady movement, especially when imperceptible: an attempt to prevent this slow creep of costsMore example sentences
- I notice things like the slow creep of Q10 from advertising for women's products into advertising for male grooming products.
- I have had problems with their DNS about a year ago being slower than glacial creep.
- The steady creep of branding in British schools has created an ideological battle that is tearing apart educators, parents and politicians.
- 2.2The gradual downward movement of disintegrated rock or soil due to gravity: stones and earth slowly slip down the slopes by soil creepMore example sentences
- Convex slope segments commonly occur on the upper parts of slopes, near the drainage divide, as a result of soil creep and rainsplash erosion.
- However, the persistence of fault creep does pose a costly nuisance in terms of maintenance and repair.
- This time-dependent creep is likely to arise from low-temperature intracrystalline plasticity in clay minerals.
- 2.3The gradual deformation of a plastic solid under stress: metals and ceramics can also exhibit creepMore example sentences
- When the stress is low enough, essentially all transient creep is linear with stress and recoverable.
- At the peak of the 30th cycle, the load was held constant for 20 minutes and static creep deformation was recorded.
- Both deformation and creep mechanisms change with temperature.
- 2.4Gradual bulging of the floor of a mine owing to pressure on the pillars: the mines were unworkable because of creepMore example sentences
- Pillar widening is a good hypothesis for creep rate reduction in mines.
- 3.1A feeding enclosure for young animals, with a long, narrow entrance: young piglets spend most of their time in the creepMore example sentences
- Perennial ryegrass is excellent for use in creep grazing pastures for young animals.
- Calving and creep areas should be kept clean and well bedded.
- 4 [mass noun] British Solid food given to young farm animals in order to wean them: we’ve started to wean the lambs earlier and to keep them on creepMore example sentences
- All lambs included in the study were provided access to pelleted creep from 10 days of age to weaning.
- The production phases with the highest use were nursing piglets fed creep feed and nursery piglets fed starter rations.
- Calves in each trial were offered a creep feed beginning 60 days subsequent to birth of the first calf in each trial.
give someone the creeps
- • informal Induce a feeling of revulsion or fear in someone: eels wriggle, they’re slimy, and they give some people the creepsMore example sentences
scare, frighten, terrify, horrify, haunt; repel, repulse, revolt, disgust, sicken, nauseate, be repugnant to, be distasteful to, make shudder; make someone's flesh creep, make someone's skin crawl, make someone's blood run cold, make someone's gorge rise, turn someone's stomach
- The entire situation gave her the creeps, but she refused to become paralysed with fear.
- Most people don't refrain from, say, marrying their siblings because it is illegal; they refrain because the very idea gives them the creeps.
- It gives me the creeps, just in time for Halloween.
creep someone out
- • informal Give someone an unpleasant feeling of fear or unease: an anonymous note like that would creep me outMore example sentences
- Most of my friends have clown phobias, which makes my life difficult cos he creeps them out.
- Unfortunately, lately he's been creeping me out.
- The thought of him being anything close to a brother to me actually crept me out.
- British • informal Behave obsequiously towards (someone) in the hope of advancement: I’m not the kind of fellow that’s going to creep to anybodyMore example sentencesSynonymsgrovel, crawl, toady, fawn, cower, cringe, truckle, kowtow, bow and scrape, prostrate oneself; be servile towards, be sycophantic towards, dance attendance on, ingratiate oneself with, curry favour with; flatter, woo, pay court to, get round• informal suck up to, make up to, be all over, fall all over, lick someone's boots, butter up, rub up the right way, keep sweet, sweet-talk, soft-soapNorth American • informal brown-nose• archaic blandish
Old English crēopan 'move with the body close to the ground', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kruipen. Sense 1 of the verb dates from Middle English.