[kreek, krik]
U.S., Canada, and Australia. a stream smaller than a river.
a stream or channel in a coastal marsh.
Chiefly Atlantic States and British. a recess or inlet in the shore of the sea.
an estuary.
British Dialect. a narrow, winding passage or hidden recess.
up the creek, Slang. in a predicament; in a difficult or seemingly hopeless situation.

1200–50; Middle English creke, variant of crike < Old Norse kriki bend, crook

subcreek, noun

1. brook, creek, river, stream ; 2. creak, creek, croak. Unabridged


noun, plural Creeks (especially collectively) Creek.
a member of a confederacy of North American Indians that in historic times occupied the greater part of Alabama and Georgia.
Also called Muskogee. a Muskogean language that is the language of the Creek Indians. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
creek (kriːk)
1.  chiefly (Brit) a narrow inlet or bay, esp of the sea
2.  (US), (Canadian), (Austral), (NZ) a small stream or tributary
3.  slang up the creek in trouble; in a difficult position
[C13: from Old Norse kriki nook; related to Middle Dutch krēke creek, inlet]

Creek (kriːk)
n , Creek, Creeks
1.  a member of a confederacy of Native American peoples formerly living in Georgia and Alabama, now chiefly in Oklahoma
2.  any of the languages of these peoples, belonging to the Muskhogean family

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1449, creke "narrow inlet in a coastline," from kryk (c.1230), probably from O.N. kriki "nook," perhaps infl. by Anglo-Fr. crique, itself from a Scand. source via Norman. Perhaps ultimately related to crook. Extended to "inlet or short arm of a river" by 1577, which probably led to use for "small stream,
brook" in Amer.Eng. (1622). Also used there and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand for "branch of a main river," possibly from explorers moving up main rivers and seeing and noting mouths of tributaries without knowing they often were extensive rivers of their own. Slang phrase up the creek "in trouble," often esp. "pregnant," first recorded 1941, perhaps originally armed forces slang for "lost while on patrol."

Indian tribe or confederation, 1725, named for creek, the geographical feature, and abbreviated from Ochese Creek Indians, from the stream in Ga. where English first encountered them. Native name is Muskogee, a word of uncertain origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see up a creek.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Our boatman veered off into a small creek, navigating low, coffee-colored waters choked with water hyacinth.
Eventually, the area between them would be a reflecting pond, filled with creek water.
The new name, which takes effect immediately, refers to the building's
  proximity to a creek that runs through the campus.
By court order two dams along the creek were removed earlier this year.
Idioms & Phrases
Images for Creek
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