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[kreek] /krik/
verb (used without object)
to make a sharp, harsh, grating, or squeaking sound.
to move with creaking.
verb (used with object)
to cause to creak.
a creaking sound.
Origin of creak
1275-1325; Middle English creken to croak, apparently back formation from Old English crǣcettan, variant of crācettan to croak
Related forms
creakingly, adverb
Can be confused
creak, creek, croak. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for creak
Historical Examples
  • It was no louder than a whisper from without—the creak of a board.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • At every step the old boards seemed to creak as though in pain.

    The Inn at the Red Oak Latta Griswold
  • He listened but heard only the gurgle of the Vulcan's wake and the creak of her plates.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • The doors of the hansom opened with a creak and banged back on their spring.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • With this he leaned over the bed, and there was a creak of the spring mattress.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • He bowed again until I fancied I could hear the creak of his old joints.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • The wind rose and made the old tree rock, and creak, and tremble.

  • I heard the rattle of the bar as the helper lifted it, then the creak of the gate.

    Billy Topsail & Company

    Norman Duncan
  • It even repeated the creak of those old, rusty springs while you waited for her.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • Finally, there was a creak from a chair, and the footsteps ceased.

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle
British Dictionary definitions for creak


to make or cause to make a harsh squeaking sound
(intransitive) to make such sounds while moving: the old car creaked along
a harsh squeaking sound
Derived Forms
creaky, adjective
creakily, adverb
creakiness, noun
creakingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: variant of croak, of imitative origin
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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Word Origin and History for creak

early 14c., "utter a harsh cry," of imitative origin. Used of the sound made by a rusty gate hinge, etc., from 1580s. Related: Creaked; creaking. As a noun, from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for creak



To show signs of wear; be near collapse: indications that their marriages are creaking (1930s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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