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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).


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


creeper (plural creepers)

  1. A person or a thing that crawls or creeps.
    • 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;
  2. Often in plural, a one-piece garment for infants designed to facilitate access to the wearer's diaper.
  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.
  10. A treecreeper.
  11. (nautical) A small four-hooked grapnel used to recover objects dropped onto the sea bed.
  12. The lowest gear of a tractor or truck; also creeper gear, creeper shift.
  13. A low-profile wheeled platform whereupon an auto mechanic may lie on their back and gain better access to the underbody of a vehicle.
  14. (derogatory, slang) A person who creeps people out; a creepy person.
    Don't go to a nightclub to find a boyfriend. They're all creepers there.
  15. A kind of shoe, usually with a suede upper and a thick crepe sole, associated with various twentieth-century subcultures.


Derived terms