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[kree-per] /ˈkri pər/
a person or thing that creeps.
Botany. a plant that grows upon or just beneath the surface of the ground, or upon any other surface, sending out rootlets from the stem, as ivy and couch grass.
Often, creepers. a one-piece garment for an infant, the lower portion resembling briefs and having snaps or buttons across the crotch for convenience in diapering.
Chiefly Northeastern U.S. a spiked iron plate worn on the shoe to prevent slipping on ice, rock, etc.
Also called brothel creeper. Informal. a shoe with a thick, soft sole:
She wore a miniskirt and creepers.
Also called cradle. Automotive. a flat framework on casters, on which a mechanic lies while working under an automobile or the like.
Ornithology. any of various birds that creep or climb about on trees, especially of the family Certhiidae, as Certhia americana (brown creeper or tree creeper) of the Northern Hemisphere.
a domestic fowl having malformed, short legs, due to a genetic defect.
a grappling device for dragging a river, lake, etc.
Also, creep. Slang. a sneak thief.
Slang. a person who makes persistent sexual advances toward someone, or who cheats on a sexual partner.
Slang. creep (def 18).
Slang. a person who follows someone persistently or stealthily; a stalker.
Origin of creeper
before 1000; Middle English crepere, Old English crēopere. See creep, -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for creeper
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The esquine partly resembles a creeper and partly a bramble.

    The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz
  • Much of Lewes in September is scarlet with Virginia creeper.

  • I happened to tell her the other day that the vine on the fence was a "creeper."

    Story of My Life Helen Keller
  • As I did so my gun caught in a creeper, which suddenly whisked it from my hand.

    In the Wilds of Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • Lay it out in the bay,” said Will, “with a creeper at each end.

    Menhardoc George Manville Fenn
  • I fancy, too, that we may have exaggerated the monotony of the creeper's lot.

    Birds in the Bush

    Bradford Torrey
  • There are descriptions of the creeper's music which liken it to a wren's.

    Birds in the Bush

    Bradford Torrey
  • So the toad got into a bucket he happened to possess, and fastened the bucket to the creeper.

  • It was of bluish stone, and half covered with Virginia creeper.

    A Modern Chronicle, Complete Winston Churchill
British Dictionary definitions for creeper


a person or animal that creeps
a plant, such as the ivy or periwinkle, that grows by creeping
(US & Canadian) Also called tree creeper. any small songbird of the family Certhiidae of the N hemisphere, having a brown-and-white plumage and slender downward-curving bill. They creep up trees to feed on insects
a hooked instrument for dragging deep water
Also called cradle. a flat board or framework mounted on casters, used to lie on when working under cars
(cricket) Also called daisy cutter. a bowled ball that keeps low or travels along the ground
either of a pair of low iron supports for logs in a hearth
(informal) a shoe with a soft sole
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 creeper

Old English creopera "one who creeps," agent noun from creep (v.). Also see creep (n.). Meaning "lice" is from 1570s; of certain birds from 1660s; of certain plants from 1620s.

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



  1. The lowest gear on a truck (1930s+ Truckers)
  2. A performer who moves closer and closer to the microphone (1940s+ Radio studio)
  3. A sneak thief: He knew they couldn't be boosters or creepers, not flashing their bread the way these two were doing (1930s+ Underworld)
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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