verb (past and past participle crept /krept/)[no object]
- 1Move slowly and carefully, especially 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
- 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 at an inexorably steady pace: 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 an unwanted and negative characteristic or fact) occur or develop gradually and almost imperceptibly: errors crept into his game (as adjective creeping) the creeping centralization of powerMore 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: interest rates have been creeping up in the past few weeksMore 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.More example sentences
- 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 in an obsequious way in the hope of advancement.More example sentences
- I guess some people thought I was a creep, offering sycophantic praise of someone who happens to be my boss.
- 2Slow movement, especially at a steady but almost imperceptible pace: 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 gravitational forces: 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.More 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.More example sentences
- Pillar widening is a good hypothesis for creep rate reduction in mines.
give someone the creeps
- • informal Induce a feeling of revulsion or fear in someone.More example sentences
- 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.
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.