See also: créature and creäture

English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English creature in the original sense of “a created thing”, borrowed via Old French creature, criature, from Latin creātūra, from creō.[1] Displaced native Old English ġesċeaft. Doublet of craythur and critter.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

creature (plural creatures)

  1. A living being, such as an animal, monster, or alien.
    insects and other creatures
    • 1859, Ferna Vale, Natalie; or, A Gem Among the Sea-Weeds:
      But what would be the sentiment of uppertendom, when it should be rumored that the beautiful young creature, of the proud Clarence Delwood's choice, had stooped so low, as to maintain herself by her own hands?
    • 1960, William Bittle Gray, Creatures of the Sea, New York : W. Funk:
      Urologists often want live sea horses for study of kidney disorders, for the sea horse is one of the few marine creatures with functioning kidneys.
    • 1963, Daniel Pratt Mannix, All Creatures Great and Small:
      But he began writing articles for The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, and Colliers, and having finally chosen to become a journalist, has written All Creatures Great and Small about his first love []
    • 2018 June 18, Christine M. Korsgaard, Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations to the Other Animals, Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 27:
      One answer to that is “No”: sounds exist in the perspective of creatures who can hear, although sound waves would still be bouncing around in the absence of such creatures.
    • 2019 February 7, James Olstein, Odd Science – Incredible Creatures, Pavilion Children's, →ISBN:
      Creatures are fascinating. From miniscule bugs to great beasts of the deep, ferocious dinosaurs to cuddly-looking pandas.
  2. An unidentified, mysterious, and often monstrous animal or being.
    • 2015 February 25, Nathan Kuzack, The Anguisher Creature, Nathan Kuzack:
      When it comes to this creature you have to unlearn everything you've ever learned about physiology. For example, when its appendages emerge to feed, they do so using incredible bursts of growth, quite unlike anything ever seen before []
    • 2020 October 24, Mike Jason, The Creature: What Is It?, Mike Jason:
      Tammy and Cherise heard the creature's roar. “I think they got him,” Tammy said. “See, I told you. Everything's going to be alright.” Cherise smiled. The beast swung its other, human-like arm, knocking the entire barricade down, []
    • 2022 November 8, Kay Chronister, Desert Creatures, Erewhon, →ISBN:
      The group stood motionless as an entire stream of creatures emerged from the canyons and then passed through, one after another. All were formed from the same undead materials, limbs and trunks and heads conveying nauseatingly lush []
  3. (sometimes derogatory) A human.
    He's a creature of habit.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      She was like a Beardsley Salome, he had said. And indeed she had the narrow eyes and the high cheekbone of that creature, and as nearly the sinuosity as is compatible with human symmetry.
    • 2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
      According to this saga of intellectual-property misanthropy, these creatures [patent trolls] roam the business world, buying up patents and then using them to demand extravagant payouts from companies they accuse of infringing them. Often, their victims pay up rather than face the costs of a legal battle.
  4. (now uncommon, religion) A created thing, whether animate or inanimate; a creation.
    • 1633, John Donne, Sapho to Philænis:
      Thoughts, my mindes creatures, often are with thee, / But I, their maker, want their libertie.
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, chapter I, in Pseudodoxia Epidemica: [], London: [] T[homas] H[arper] for Edward Dod, [], →OCLC, 1st book, page 10:
      the natural truth of God is an artificial erection of Man, and the Creator himself but a subtile invention of the Creature.
    • 1718, John CLAGGETT, Arianism Anatomized: or, Animadversions on Mr. Thomas Chubb's book, intitled, The Supremacy of the Father asserted, etc, page 35:
      Must not then all understanding Creatures center in their Creator, as in the highest and best of Beings? And must not this Creator then be eſſentially God? What Infatuation then is it, that leads Men to think of a Creature-Creator?
    • 1857, Frederick William Faber, The Creator and the Creature: Or the Wonders of Divine Love, page 92:
      For the creature tends to close union with the Creator, and union alone is the perfection of all true worship.
    • 1878, Mary (the virgin.), Spiritual exercises of Mary, revised by the bp. of Nottingham [E.G. Bagshawe]., page 194:
      We are creatures of a good, beneficent and loving Creator. We are made by this good God for Himself.
    • 1994 January 1, Shirley C. Guthrie, Christian Doctrine, Westminster John Knox Press, →ISBN, page 169:
      They only mean that we are creatures and not God. Unlike the Creator, we creatures do not live forever. Real evil enters the picture when we refuse to accept the finitude of human life []
    • 2020 August 28, Samuel D. Ferguson, The Spirit and Relational Anthropology in Paul, Mohr Siebeck, →ISBN, page 98:
      Several aspects of the creature-Creator relation can be drawn from Rom 1:18–32 and other Pauline texts. First, the relation between man-as-creature and God-the-Creator is more than a “static/positional” reality.
  5. A being subservient to or dependent upon another.
    • 1861, Anthony Trollope, Framley Parsonage:
      "You know what I advise," said Mrs. Smith. "Ask Miss Dunstable to advance the money on the same security which the duke holds. She will be as safe then as he is now. And if you can arrange that, stand for the county against him; perhaps you may be beaten."
      "I shouldn't have a chance."
      "But it would show that you are not a creature in the duke's hands. That's my advice," said Mrs. Smith, with much spirit; []
    • 1988, James McPherson, Battle Cry for Freedom, Oxford, published 2003, page 240:
      they, too, despite the appearance of being creatures rather than creators of the Union, could assert the prior sovereignty of their states, for each had formed a state constitution [] before petitioning Congress for admission to the Union.

Usage notes edit

  • For an explanation of the specialised use of the alternative spelling creäture, see its entry's usage notes.
  • Adjectives often applied to "creature": evil, living, little, mythical, poor, strange, beautiful, wild, rational, marine, social, legendary, good, mysterious, curious, magical, dangerous, mythological, bizarre, monstrous, unhappy, huge, lowly, ugly, happy, unique, odd, weird, demonic, divine, imaginary, hideous, fabulous, nocturnal, angelic, political.

Hyponyms edit

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ The Concise Oxford English Dictionary [Eleventh Edition]

Anagrams edit

Italian edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /kre.aˈtu.re/
  • Rhymes: -ure
  • Hyphenation: cre‧a‧tù‧re

Noun edit

creature f

  1. plural of creatura

Latin edit

Participle edit

creātūre

  1. vocative masculine singular of creātūrus

Middle Dutch edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin creātūra.

Noun edit

creature f

  1. creature, being

Inflection edit

This noun needs an inflection-table template.

Descendants edit

  • Dutch: creatuur

Further reading edit

Middle English edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Old French criature, creature, from Latin creātūra; equivalent to createn +‎ -ure.

Alternative forms edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /krɛːaːˈtiu̯r/, /krɛːaˈtiu̯r/, /krɛːaˈtuːr/
  • (reduced second syllable) IPA(key): /krɛːˈtiu̯r/, /ˈkrɛːətiu̯r/, /ˈkrɛːtur/
  • (accented second syllable) IPA(key): /krɛˈaːtiu̯r/, /ˈkraːtiu̯r/

Noun edit

creature (plural creatures)

  1. Something that has been created; an entity or object.
  2. A living being or creature; an animal or beast.
  3. A human being (often as a term of self-abasement).
  4. (rare) The whole world, the totality of existence.
  5. (rare) The process of making or creation.
Descendants edit
References edit

Etymology 2 edit

Noun edit

creature

  1. Alternative form of creatour

Old French edit

Etymology edit

Learned borrowing from Late Latin creātūra.

Noun edit

creature oblique singularf (oblique plural creatures, nominative singular creature, nominative plural creatures)

  1. creature; being; entity

Descendants edit