- U.S., Canada, and Australia. a stream smaller than a river.
- a stream or channel in a coastal marsh.
- Chiefly Atlantic States and British. a recess or inlet in the shore of the sea.
- an estuary.
- British Dialect. a narrow, winding passage or hidden recess.
- up the creek, Slang. in a predicament; in a difficult or seemingly hopeless situation.
Origin of creek
- a member of a confederacy of North American Indians that in historic times occupied the greater part of Alabama and Georgia.
- Also called Muskogee. a Muskogean language that is the language of the Creek Indians.
Examples from the Web for creek
In February 2011, during a winter storm, a tree fell into a creek in Franklin Township, New Jersey, and caused flooding.Government Has Made America Inept
Philip K. Howard
May 4, 2014
As Gawain rides along the bank of a creek, he hears this sickening sound ringing from above.Historical Fiction: A Conversation Between Bruce Holsinger and Nancy Bilyeau
Nancy Bilyeau, Bruce Holsinger
March 30, 2014
From the Colorado train that fell into a creek to the North Carolina collision, see more rail disasters.
The engine, baggage car, coach, and chair car fell into the creek, claiming 96 lives and leaving only two dozen alive.
She meant Plaza Towers Elementary School on the other side of the creek, which had been smashed to rubble and twisted beams.Oklahoma Tornado Devastation: What the Twister Left Behind
May 22, 2013
It was with some trepidation that Pierre set out for the creek.
I have said that the Carters owed their little farm to the creek.
Had the creek been their only creditor the Carters would have been fortunate.
We were toasting them at a fire we had made close to a creek, to stay our appetites.
It came up from and disappeared into the creek, so I was sure it must have been a Gahonga.
- mainly British a narrow inlet or bay, esp of the sea
- US, Canadian, Australian and NZ a small stream or tributary
- up the creek slang in trouble; in a difficult position
- plural Creek or Creeks a member of a confederacy of Native American peoples formerly living in Georgia and Alabama, now chiefly in Oklahoma
- any of the languages of these peoples, belonging to the Muskhogean family
Word Origin and History for creek
mid-15c., creke "narrow inlet in a coastline," altered from kryk (early 13c.; in place names from 12c.), probably from Old Norse kriki "corner, nook," perhaps influenced by Anglo-French crique, itself from a Scandinavian source via Norman. Perhaps ultimately related to crook and with an original notion of "full of bends and turns" (cf. dialectal Swedish krik "corner, bend; creek, cove").
Extended to "inlet or short arm of a river" by 1570s, which probably led to use for "small stream, brook" in American English (1620s). Also used there and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand for "branch of a main river," possibly from explorers moving up main rivers and seeing and noting mouths of tributaries without knowing they often were extensive rivers of their own. Slang phrase up the creek "in trouble," often especially "pregnant," first recorded 1941, perhaps originally armed forces slang for "lost while on patrol."
Indian tribe or confederation, 1725, named for creek, the geographical feature, and abbreviated from Ochese Creek Indians, from the place in Georgia where English first encountered them. Native name is Muskogee, a word of uncertain origin.
Idioms and Phrases with creek
see up a creek.