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 formscreak·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedcreak creek croak Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for creak

squeak, screech, groan, sound, scratch, scrape, rasp, crepitate, squeal, chirr

Examples from the Web for creak

Historical Examples of creak

  • It was no louder than a whisper from without—the creak of a board.

  • At every step the old boards seemed to creak as though in pain.

  • He listened but heard only the gurgle of the Vulcan's wake and the creak of her plates.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for creak



to make or cause to make a harsh squeaking sound
(intr) to make such sounds while movingthe old car creaked along


a harsh squeaking sound
Derived Formscreaky, adjectivecreakily, adverbcreakiness, nouncreakingly, adverb

Word Origin for creak

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

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