- to flirt with or make persistent sexual advances toward someone (often followed by on): He creeps on all the women he meets.
- to cheat on one’s sexual partner: He caught his wife creepin' with the guy who lives next-door.
- the gradual movement downhill of loose soil, rock, gravel, etc.; solifluction.
- the slow deformation of solid rock resulting from constant stress applied over long periods.
Idioms about creep
Origin of creep
synonym study for creep
historical usage of creep
The four principal parts of crēopan are crēopan (present infinitive and the dictionary headword), crēap (past tense singular), crupon (past tense plural), and cropen (past participle). The verb has very many bewildering dialect forms, variants, and spellings in Old English and later in Middle English.
Around 1300 we see the first appearance of inflections of weak verbs (also called regular verbs, with no vowel changes), like love, loved, loved, initially in the past tense. William Tyndale’s translation of the Bible (1534) has the past participle crept, replacing the strong form cropen. Some descendants of the Old English strong verb lived on in certain British and American dialects, such as the past tense crope, which shows up in Mark Twain’s representation of the Black Southern dialect spoken by the character Jim in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884): “I crope out, all a-tremblin’.”
The slang meaning of the noun “an obnoxious, disturbingly eccentric person” arose in the late 19th century, connected with the now obsolete meaning “a person who creeps along; a sneak.”
OTHER WORDS FROM creepcreep·ing·ly, adverbnon·creep·ing, adjectiveout·creep, verb (used with object), out·crept, out·creep·ing.un·creep·ing, adjective
Words nearby creep
How to use creep in a sentence
Kate concludes that Jeanette may be a creep but that she would be an innocent one.‘Cruel Summer’ finale reveals the truth about its biggest mystery. We think.|Bethonie Butler|June 16, 2021|Washington Post
The nurse returns with, of all things, “Sabbath’s Theater,” Philip Roth’s sexually explicit work about an aging, suicidal creep.
Between the labor-intensive work and that superficial creep factor, making miniatures can be solitary or even ostracizing.
They must slow the creep of mortality until the last possible moment, at which point they abruptly pivot from healers to consolers.Emma Glass’s ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ powerfully describes what it means to be a health-care worker|Pete Tosiello|December 2, 2020|Washington Post
We can start by refusing to make or use any more digital shackles, and by refusing to let their creep extend one inch—or one use case—further.Covid-19 has led to a worrisome uptick in the use of electronic ankle monitors|Amy Nordrum|October 8, 2020|MIT Technology Review
Another acquaintance described Seevakumaran as “a creep,” who would “constantly hit on women.”
It distorts more and more every day of the month, every year, due to the slow effects of fault creep.
But generational differences soon creep in, threatening to pull the two couples apart.Oscar Season Kicks Off in Toronto: Channing Tatum, Kristen Stewart, and More Court Awards Glory|Marlow Stern|September 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Of course my very first words to that creep had been, “Which way to the mechanical sharks?”My Time on the Set of 'Jaws,' or How to Get a Photo of a Frickin' Mechanical Shark|Tom Shales|August 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
As the price of gas continues to creep up, it is helpful to find ways to reduce fuel costs.
He listened to tales of the Igorrotes, who live in huts like beehives and creep into them like insects.Alila, Our Little Philippine Cousin|Mary Hazelton Wade
It was some minutes before the children dared to creep out of the bushes again.The Box-Car Children|Gertrude Chandler Warner
There, in broad daylight, I saw Maloney deliberately creep closer to the fire and heap the wood on.Three More John Silence Stories|Algernon Blackwood
Don't let the idea creep into your head, that I am going to give you a dull and sleepy essay on music.Mike Marble|Uncle Frank
I am too sore and bruised to be thankful; I feel, sometimes, as if I could creep into a dark corner and cry my heart out.Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline|Jennie M. Drinkwater
British Dictionary definitions for creep
Word Origin for creep
Other Idioms and Phrases with creep
In addition to the idiom beginning with creep
- creep up on
- make one's flesh creep
- the creeps