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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for crawly
Historical Examples
  • "But there's men that is nasty and crawly things," he argued.

    The Turtles of Tasman Jack London
  • The horror of it was that the creeping, crawly thing made no sound—only crawled!

  • I like the butterflies, but I don't like those creepy, crawly things from which they come.

    Bee and Butterfly Lucy Foster Madison
  • All over the tree they ran, creepy, crawly, looking at every single thing.

  • There werent spiders, or rats, or any crawly things to lend picturesqueness to the situation.

    Nothing But the Truth Frederic S. Isham
  • They're so crawly and graceful—but, just the same, I like to watch them.

    McTeague Frank Norris
  • The next instant something cold and crawly struck my upheld wrist, slid across it, and dropped with a fleshy thud on the floor.

    A Maid of the Kentucky Hills Edwin Carlile Litsey
  • It makes me crawly to think of their daring to talk over all I do and say.

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
  • Was the cellar all horrid with old papers and rats and mice and spiders and crawly things with legs?

    The Adopting of Rosa Marie Carroll Watson Rankin
  • 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
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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