1 [krawl]
verb (used without object)
to move in a prone position with the body resting on or close to the ground, as a worm or caterpillar, or on the hands and knees, as a young child.
(of plants or vines) to extend tendrils; creep.
to move or progress slowly or laboriously: The line of cars crawled behind the slow-moving truck. The work just crawled until we got the new machines.
to behave in a remorseful, abject, or cringing manner: Don't come crawling back to me asking for favors.
to be, or feel as if, overrun with crawling things: The hut crawled with lizards and insects.
Ceramics. (of a glaze) to spread unevenly over the surface of a piece.
(of paint) to raise or contract because of an imperfect bond with the underlying surface.
verb (used with object)
to visit or frequent a series of (especially bars): to crawl the neighborhood pubs.
act of crawling; a slow, crawling motion.
a slow pace or rate of progress: Traffic slowed to a crawl.
Swimming. a stroke in a prone position, characterized by alternate overarm movements combined with the flutter kick.
Television, Movies. titles that slowly move across a screen, providing information.

1150–1200; Middle English crawlen < Old Norse krafla; compare Danish kravle to crawl, creep

crawlingly, adverb

1. Crawl, creep refer to methods of moving like reptiles or worms, or on all fours. They are frequently interchangeable, but crawl is used of a more prostrate movement than creep : A dog afraid of punishment crawls toward his master. Creep expresses slow progress: A child creeps before walking or running. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
crawl1 (krɔːl)
1.  to move slowly, either by dragging the body along the ground or on the hands and knees
2.  to proceed or move along very slowly or laboriously: the traffic crawled along the road
3.  to act or behave in a servile manner; fawn; cringe
4.  to be or feel as if overrun by something unpleasant, esp crawling creatures: the pile of refuse crawled with insects
5.  (of insects, worms, snakes, etc) to move with the body close to the ground
6.  to swim the crawl
7.  a slow creeping pace or motion
8.  swimming Australian crawl, Also called: front crawl a stroke in which the feet are kicked like paddles while the arms reach forward and pull back through the water
[C14: probably from Old Norse krafla to creep; compare Swedish kravla, Middle Low German krabbelen to crawl, Old Norse krabbicrab1]

crawl2 (krɔːl)
an enclosure in shallow, coastal water for fish, lobsters, etc
[C17: from Dutch kraalkraal]

crawling (ˈkrɔːlɪŋ)
a defect in freshly applied paint or varnish characterized by bare patches and ridging

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

c.1200, crewlen, from a Scand. source, perhaps O.N. krafla "to claw (one's way)." If there was an O.E. *craflian, it has not been recorded. Swimming sense is from 1903, the stroke developed by Frederick Cavill, well-known English swimmer who emigrated to Australia and modified the standard stroke of
the day after observing South Seas islanders. So called because the swimmer's motion in the water resembles crawling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
There is nothing so wonderful as crawling into a book, getting up and walking
  around in it.
And there is that centipede crawling into her hair, along with various and
  sundry other big bugs crawling all over her.
The investigator drops the drumstick, which he then realizes is crawling with
Running, crawling, they tried to retreat to safety but found nowhere to go.
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