Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: NATURE

Language: Old English
Origin: creopan

creep

1 verb
     
creep1 past tense and past participle crept [intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
1 to move in a quiet, careful way, especially to avoid attracting attention
creep into/over/around etc
Johann would creep into the gallery to listen to the singers.
He crept back up the stairs, trying to avoid the ones that creaked.
2 if something such as an insect, small animal, or car creeps, it moves slowly and quietly [↪ crawl]
creep down/along/away etc
a caterpillar creeping down my arm
3 to gradually enter something and change it
creep in/into/over etc
Funny how religion is creeping into the environmental debate.
4HBP if a plant creeps, it grows or climbs up or along a particular place
creep up/over/around etc
ivy creeping up the walls of the building
5DN if mist, clouds etc creep, they gradually fill or cover a place
creep into/over etc
Fog was creeping into the valley.
6 British English informal to be insincerely nice to someone, especially someone in authority, in order to gain an advantage for yourself
creep (up) to somebody
I'm not the kind of person to creep to anybody.
7

somebody/something makes my flesh creep

used to say that someone or something makes you feel strong dislike or fear:
His glassy stare made my flesh creep.

creep up on somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 to surprise someone by walking up behind them silently:
Don't yell - let's creep up on them and scare them.
2 if a feeling or idea creeps up on you, it gradually increases:
The feeling she had for Malcolm had crept up on her and taken her by surprise.
3 to seem to come sooner than you expect:
Somehow, the end of term had crept up on us.
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