a wickerwork basket worn on the back or suspended from the shoulder, used especially by anglers for carrying fish.
a basket made of wicker or other material, for holding fish, lobsters, etc.
a trap for fish, lobsters, etc., especially one made of wicker.
a framework, especially one for holding bobbins in a spinning machine.

Origin of creel

1275–1325; Middle English crele, of uncertain origin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for creel

Historical Examples of creel

  • He gathers up the straps of Dick's creel, and turns to the shadow for your own.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • The spools from the spooler are placed on a large frame, called a creel.

  • He had been drawing on his waders and buckling on his creel.

    The Highgrader

    William MacLeod Raine

  • "Let us try again," said Civil, as he set his creel of mackerel in the boat.

  • “Granny will have her creel full to sell to-morrow,” he thought.

    Michael Penguyne

    William H. G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for creel



a wickerwork basket, esp one used to hold fish
a wickerwork trap for catching lobsters, etc
the framework on a spinning machine that holds the bobbins
West Yorkshire dialect a wooden frame suspended from a ceiling, used for drying clothes

Word Origin for creel

C15: from Scottish, of obscure 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 creel

early 14c., originally Scottish, of unknown origin. Perhaps related to Middle French crille "latticework."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper