English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English creken, criken, metathesis of Old English cearcian (to chatter, creak, crash, gnash), from Proto-West Germanic *krakōn (to crash, crack, creak), from Proto-Germanic *krakōną, from Proto-Indo-European *gerh₂- (to make a sound, cry hoarsely), ultimately of imitative origin.[1]

Compare also Old English crǣccettan, crācettan (to croak), Albanian grykë (throat). More at crack.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

creak (plural creaks)

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

Translations edit

Verb edit

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.
  3. (intransitive, figurative) To suffer from strain or old age.
    • 2002, Stanley Wells, Shakespeare Survey, volume 39, page 205:
      Fascinating though this high-minded re-reading was, certain crucial joints of the play creaked a good deal under the strain.
    • 2007, Francis Pryor, Britain in the Middle Ages: An Archaeological History, page 232:
      The whole basis of feudalism, especially in the more intensively farmed champion arable landscapes of the Midlands, was starting to creak.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.

Anagrams edit