Definition for crept (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
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 crept
This was music that had to be crept up on, music to be learned from the ground up.
“It just crept up on me that the grace period is over,” Mulaney says about his subway-chase revelation that he was getting older.
At one point, my friends and I crept to my car with four giant kitchen knives in hand.
I crept to the door: the organ broke out overhead with a blare.
Bending, with a breaking heart, I touched the marble drapery with my lips, then crept back into the silent house.
The shadows had crept apace up the mountain side: her seat was no longer sunny, but she sat down again.
The broken noises of the restaurant, which had seemingly died away while he spoke, crept back again to one's ears.World's War Events, Volume III|Various
A few moments later Elfreda crept over and returned with the stick that she had observed to fall.Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders Among the Kentucky Mountaineers|Jessie Graham Flower
Shiminya rose, and, beckoning the other to follow, opened and crept through the door of the hut behind him.John Ames, Native Commissioner|Bertram Mitford
They passed, and I crept out into the road again, to stare after them.The Adventures of Harry Revel|Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
British Dictionary definitions for crept (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for crept (2 of 2)
verb creeps, creeping or crept (intr)
Word Origin for creep
Idioms and Phrases with crept
In addition to the idiom beginning with creep
- creep up on
- make one's flesh creep
- the creeps