- See under creeper(def 7).
Origin of tree creeper
First recorded in 1805–15
- a person or thing that creeps.
- 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.
- 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.
- Chiefly Northeastern U.S. a spiked iron plate worn on the shoe to prevent slipping on ice, rock, etc.
- Also called brothel creeper. Informal. a shoe with a thick, soft sole:She wore a miniskirt and creepers.
- Also called cradle. Automotive. a flat framework on casters, on which a mechanic lies while working under an automobile or the like.
- 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.
- a domestic fowl having malformed, short legs, due to a genetic defect.
- a grappling device for dragging a river, lake, etc.
- Also creep. Slang. a sneak thief.
- Slang. a person who makes persistent sexual advances toward someone, or who cheats on a sexual partner.
- Slang. creep(def 18).
- Slang. a person who follows someone persistently or stealthily; a stalker.
Origin of creeper
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tree creeper
This species displaces the Himalayan tree-creeper in the Eastern Himalayas.
Only once have I seen that other cosmopolitan, the tree-creeper, in the garden.In a Cheshire Garden
Still, the brown patch on the wing of the Tree-Creeper is conspicuous as it flies.An Australian Bird Book
John Albert Leach
The only member of this family common about our hill stations is the Himalayan tree-creeper (Certhia himalayana).
Another little bird which, during the winter, associates with the tit-mice, is the tree-creeper.Birds in Flight
W. P. Pycraft
- 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
- a person or animal that creeps
- a plant, such as the ivy or periwinkle, that grows by creeping
- 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
- a hooked instrument for dragging deep water
- Also called: cradle a flat board or framework mounted on casters, used to lie on when working under cars
- Also called: daisy cutter cricket a bowled ball that keeps low or travels along the ground
- either of a pair of low iron supports for logs in a hearth
- informal a shoe with a soft sole
Word Origin and History for tree creeper
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper