Definition for creeping (2 of 2)
verb (used without object), crept, creep·ing.
- 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.
verb (used with object), crept, creep·ing.
- 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.
Origin of creep
Related formscreep·ing·ly, adverbnon·creep·ing, adjectiveout·creep, verb (used with object), out·crept, out·creep·ing.un·creep·ing, adjective
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 the speech of runaway slave Jim in Mark Twain’s 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.”
Examples from the Web for creeping
There are some stats to explain why the age of nominees is creeping up.
She confessed to harboring a “creeping concern that [Edward Snowden] is not who he purports to be.”From ISIS to Ebola, What Has Made Naomi Wolf So Paranoid?|Michael Moynihan|October 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A creeping sense develops that Judy fled not just a stifling culture but a genuine existential threat.
Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal.
What creeping advances the government has been able to make on some fronts are being matched by setbacks.Ukraine Rebels Boast About Troops and Tanks Coming from Russia|Jamie Dettmer|August 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It has a creeping stem, and grows from one to two feet high.Field and Woodland Plants|William S. Furneaux
He had ridden about thirty miles, and twilight was creeping on.Gladys, the Reaper|Anne Beale
If you come to think of it, this may be why science always has moved so slowly, creeping on from point to point.Romance Island|Zona Gale
Beyond, the heavy after-sea was still rolling; but the Dazzler was creeping up in the shelter of a rocky island.The Cruise of the Dazzler|Jack London
He was carrying his boots and creeping along in his socks—which must be why you never heard him, sir.A Thief in the Night|E. W. Hornung
British Dictionary definitions for creeping
verb creeps, creeping or crept (intr)
Word Origin for creep
Idioms and Phrases with creeping
In addition to the idiom beginning with creep
- creep up on
- make one's flesh creep
- the creeps