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[kraw-lee] /ˈkrɔ li/ Informal.
adjective, crawlier, crawliest.
that crawls; noting or describing things, as worms or insects, that crawl, especially imparting a queasy feeling; creepy.
noun, plural crawlies.
a crawling insect, small reptile, etc.
Origin of crawly
First recorded in 1855-60; crawl1 + -y1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for crawly
Historical Examples
  • The horror of it was that the creeping, crawly thing made no sound—only crawled!

  • It sort of scares me, Steve—it's so creepy and crawly looking.

    Spacehounds of IPC Edward Elmer Smith
  • All over the tree they ran, creepy, crawly, looking at every single thing.

  • "But there's men that is nasty and crawly things," he argued.

    The Turtles of Tasman Jack London
  • They're so crawly and graceful—but, just the same, I like to watch them.

    McTeague Frank Norris
  • It makes me crawly to think of their daring to talk over all I do and say.

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
  • The z in "lizard" adds a creepy, crawly, sinister something to the name which even the wretched word "snake" does not suggest.

    Wild Life Near Home Dallas Lore Sharp
  • I like the butterflies, but I don't like those creepy, crawly things from which they come.

    Bee and Butterfly Lucy Foster Madison
  • “I am not to be blamed if I squeal at crawly things,” sniffed the plump girl, hearing this.

    Ruth Fielding Down East

    Alice B. Emerson
  • I don't know whether I passed in it or not and I have a creepy, crawly presentiment that I didn't.

    Anne Of Green Gables Lucy Maud Montgomery
British Dictionary definitions for crawly


adjective crawlier, crawliest
(informal) feeling or causing a sensation like creatures crawling on one's skin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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