English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English crepere, from Old English crēopere, equivalent to creep +‎ -er. Slang usage derived from phrase give the creeps or creep out (distinct from merely one who creeps).

Pronunciation edit

  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈkɹipɚ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːpə(ɹ)

Noun edit

creeper (plural creepers)

  1. A person or a thing that crawls or creeps.
    Synonym: crawler
    • 1638 [1621], Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy[1], page 71:
      Standing Waters [] are most unwholesome, putrified, and full of mites, creepers, slimy, muddy, uncleane, corrupt, impure, by reason of the Suns heat, and still standing;
    • 2020 May 7, Katie Rife, “If you’re looking to jump in your seat, make a playdate with Z”, in The Onion AV Club[2]:
      With his presence marked by shots of children’s toys overlaid with ominous music, Z is more of a creeper than a reaper—until a shocking, sudden moment midway through the film.
  2. (often in the plural) A one-piece garment for infants designed to facilitate access to the wearer's diaper.
    Synonyms: babygro, creepers, diaper shirt, infant bodysuit, onesie, snapsuit
  3. A device which allows a small child to safely roam around a room from a seated or standing position.
  4. A metal plate with spikes, designed to be worn with shoes to prevent slipping.
  5. A spur-like device strapped to the boot to facilitate climbing.
  6. (chiefly in the plural) A small low iron, or dog, between the andirons.
  7. An instrument with iron hooks or claws for dredging up items from a well or other water.
  8. Any device for causing material to move steadily from one part of a machine to another, such as an apron in a carding machine, or an inner spiral in a grain screen.
  9. Any plant (as ivy or periwinkle) that grows by creeping, especially a climbing plant of the genus Parthenocissus.
    Synonym: climber
  10. A treecreeper.
  11. Strophitus undulatus, a freshwater mussel of the eastern United States.
  12. (nautical) A small four-hooked grapnel used to recover objects dropped onto the sea bed.
  13. The lowest gear of a tractor or truck.
    Synonyms: creeper gear, creeper shift
  14. A low-profile wheeled platform whereupon an auto mechanic may lie on their back and gain better access to the underbody of a vehicle.
    Synonym: cradle
  15. (derogatory, slang) A person who creeps people out; a creepy person.
    Synonyms: creep, creepazoid, creepoid
    Don't go to a nightclub to find a boyfriend. They're all creepers there.
  16. A kind of shoe, usually with a suede upper and a thick crepe sole, associated with various 20th-century subcultures.
  17. (cricket) A ball that travels low, near ground level.
    • 2009, Steven Lynch, Wisden on the Ashes, page 292:
      May joined Hutton and proceeded to play masterly cricket in which the straight-drive predominated. There was always the possibility that he might be trapped by a creeper, but May watched the ball intently.

Derived terms edit

other derived terms

Translations edit