- to move in a prone position with the body resting on or close to the ground, as a worm or caterpillar, or on the hands and knees, as a young child.
- (of plants or vines) to extend tendrils; creep.
- to move or progress slowly or laboriously: The line of cars crawled behind the slow-moving truck. The work just crawled until we got the new machines.
- to behave in a remorseful, abject, or cringing manner: Don't come crawling back to me asking for favors.
- to be, or feel as if, overrun with crawling things: The hut crawled with lizards and insects.
- Ceramics. (of a glaze) to spread unevenly over the surface of a piece.
- (of paint) to raise or contract because of an imperfect bond with the underlying surface.
- to visit or frequent a series of (especially bars): to crawl the neighborhood pubs.
- Also spider. Digital Technology. to retrieve (data) from a website using a computer program, as in order to index web pages for a search engine: Search engines are constantly crawling the web.
- act of crawling; a slow, crawling motion.
- a slow pace or rate of progress: Traffic slowed to a crawl.
- Swimming. a stroke in a prone position, characterized by alternate overarm movements combined with the flutter kick.
- Television, Movies. titles that slowly move across a screen, providing information.
Origin of crawl1
Examples from the Web for crawling
Perfect for when the kids are still young and crawling all over you.Why Every Home Needs a Drone This Holiday
December 8, 2014
When crawling and walking are imminent, I talk with parents about getting the house ready.Kids Eat the Darndest Things: Laundry Pods, Teething Necklaces, and More Of The Weirdest Stuff Sending Kids to the E.R.
November 14, 2014
Netflix speeds were crawling along making it miserable for customers to stream content.Porn Fights For Your Right to Surf: Pornhub, YouPorn, and Redtube Lead Charge For Net Neutrality
September 13, 2014
As king, you need to understand that balance, and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.The 13 Coolest Movie Dads: ‘Taken,’ ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Die Hard,’ and More
June 15, 2014
Many are also asking how on earth Charles could have made such a remark in a room he knew was crawling with journalists.Charles's Hitler-Putin Comparison Shows Why Many Believe He Is Not Fit To Be King
May 22, 2014
Uriah Heep may be a crawling creature; but his crawling takes him upstairs.A Treatise on Parents and Children
George Bernard Shaw
What should such fellows as I do crawling between heaven and earth?The Man Shakespeare
Close by him four little children were crawling around on the ground.What Sami Sings with the Birds
All other means have been tried, short of crawling on our bellies to these Dutch hinds!In the Valley
No use being angry because the monument was crawling with Tommies!It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
- a defect in freshly applied paint or varnish characterized by bare patches and ridging
- to move slowly, either by dragging the body along the ground or on the hands and knees
- to proceed or move along very slowly or laboriouslythe traffic crawled along the road
- to act or behave in a servile manner; fawn; cringe
- to be or feel as if overrun by something unpleasant, esp crawling creaturesthe pile of refuse crawled with insects
- (of insects, worms, snakes, etc) to move with the body close to the ground
- to swim the crawl
- a slow creeping pace or motion
- Also called: Australian crawl, front crawl swimming a stroke in which the feet are kicked like paddles while the arms reach forward and pull back through the water
- an enclosure in shallow, coastal water for fish, lobsters, etc
Word Origin and History for crawling
c.1200, creulen, from a Scandinavian source, perhaps Old Norse krafla "to claw (one's way)," from the same root as crab (n.1). If there was an Old English *craflian, it has not been recorded. Related: Crawled; crawling.
1818, from crawl (v.); in the swimming sense from 1903, the stroke developed by Frederick Cavill, well-known English swimmer who emigrated to Australia and modified the standard stroke of the day after observing South Seas islanders. So called because the swimmer's motion in the water resembles crawling.