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From Middle English creken, metathesis of Old English cearcian. Cognate with Albanian grykë (throat). Related to crack.



creak (plural creaks)

  1. The sound produced by anything that creaks; a creaking.



creak (third-person singular simple present creaks, present participle creaking, simple past and past participle creaked)

  1. (intransitive) To make a prolonged sharp grating or squeaking sound, as by the friction of hard substances.
    • 1856, Eleanor Marx-Aveling (translator), Gustave Flaubert (author), Madame Bovary, Part III, Chapter 10:
      Then when the four ropes were arranged the coffin was placed upon them. He watched it descend; it seemed descending for ever. At last a thud was heard; the ropes creaked as they were drawn up.
    • 1901, W. W. Jacobs, The Monkey's Paw:
      He heard the creaking of the bolt as it came slowly back, and at the same moment he found the monkey's paw, and frantically breathed his third and last wish.
  2. (transitive) To produce a creaking sound with.
    • Shakespeare
      Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry.
    • 20th century, Theodore Roethke, On the Road to Woodlawn
      I miss the polished brass, the powerful black horses,
      The drivers creaking the seats of the baroque hearses

Derived termsEdit