tree creeper



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

before 1000; Middle English crepere, Old English crēopere. See creep, -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tree creeper

Historical Examples of 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

    Geoffrey Egerton-Warburton

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for tree creeper

tree creeper


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
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 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