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creeper

[kree-per]
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noun
  1. a person or thing that creeps.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Chiefly Northeastern U.S. a spiked iron plate worn on the shoe to prevent slipping on ice, rock, etc.
  5. Also called brothel creeper. Informal. a shoe with a thick, soft sole:She wore a miniskirt and creepers.
  6. Also called cradle. Automotive. a flat framework on casters, on which a mechanic lies while working under an automobile or the like.
  7. 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.
  8. a domestic fowl having malformed, short legs, due to a genetic defect.
  9. a grappling device for dragging a river, lake, etc.
  10. Also creep. Slang. a sneak thief.
  11. Slang. a person who makes persistent sexual advances toward someone, or who cheats on a sexual partner.
  12. Slang. creep(def 18).
  13. Slang. a person who follows someone persistently or stealthily; a stalker.
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Origin of creeper

before 1000; Middle English crepere, Old English crēopere. See creep, -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

climber

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


British Dictionary definitions for creeper

creeper

noun
  1. a person or animal that creeps
  2. a plant, such as the ivy or periwinkle, that grows by creeping
  3. Also called: tree creeper US and Canadian 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
  4. a hooked instrument for dragging deep water
  5. Also called: cradle a flat board or framework mounted on casters, used to lie on when working under cars
  6. Also called: daisy cutter cricket a bowled ball that keeps low or travels along the ground
  7. either of a pair of low iron supports for logs in a hearth
  8. informal a shoe with a soft sole
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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 creeper

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper