- To move along the ground, or on any other surface, on the belly, as a worm or reptile; to move as a child on the hands and knees; to crawl."Ye that walk The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep." [Milton.]
- To move slowly, feebly, or timorously, as from unwillingness, fear, or weakness."The whining schoolboy . . . creeping, like snail, Unwillingly to school." [Shak.]"Like a guilty thing, I creep." [Tennyson.]
- To move in a stealthy or secret manner; to move imperceptibly or clandestinely; to steal in; to insinuate itself or one's self; as, age creeps upon us."The sophistry which creeps into most of the books of argument." [Locke.]"Of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women." [2. Tim. iii. 6.]
- To slip, or to become slightly displaced; as, the collodion on a negative, or a coat of varnish, may creep in drying; the quicksilver on a mirror may creep .
- To move or behave with servility or exaggerated humility; to fawn; as, a creeping sycophant."To come as humbly as they used to creep." [Shak.]
- To grow, as a vine, clinging to the ground or to some other support by means of roots or rootlets, or by tendrils, along its length."Creeping vines."
- To have a sensation as of insects creeping on the skin of the body; to crawl; as, the sight made my flesh creep . See Crawl (v. i.), 4.
- To drag in deep water with creepers, as for recovering a submarine cable.
Etymology: OE. crepen creopen, AS. creópan; akin to D. kruipen, G. kriechen, Icel. krjupa, Sw. krypa, Dan. krybe. Cf. Cripple Crouch