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[kreek] /krik/
verb (used without object)
to make a sharp, harsh, grating, or squeaking sound.
to move with creaking.
verb (used with object)
to cause to creak.
a creaking sound.
Origin of creak
1275-1325; Middle English creken to croak, apparently back formation from Old English crǣcettan, variant of crācettan to croak
Related forms
creakingly, adverb
Can be confused
creak, creek, croak. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for creak
Historical Examples
  • From inside came the creak and whine of a windlass bearing a heavy load.

    Smoke Bellew Jack London
  • It was no louder than a whisper from without—the creak of a board.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • I heard the whisper of silk and the creak of seats as the members of my family at last settled comfortably into their seats.

    May Iverson's Career Elizabeth Jordan
  • I heard the rattle of the bar as the helper lifted it, then the creak of the gate.

    Billy Topsail & Company Norman Duncan
  • From the bow I heard the creak of the anchor-chains as they were drawn on board, and from the engine-room the tinkle of bells.

    Captain Macklin Richard Harding Davis
  • It even repeated the creak of those old, rusty springs while you waited for her.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • Its song starts like the creak of the black-and-white warbler and ends like a chipping sparrow.

    Everyday Adventures Samuel Scoville
  • He heard them even before he had left his bunk—the clink, creak, creak!

    Blazed Trail Stories Stewart Edward White
  • Every board seemed to creak as I trod gingerly toward the stairway.

    A Daughter of Raasay William MacLeod Raine
  • She turned at the creak of his footstep on the threshold and for the first time she spoke.

    In Happy Valley John Fox
British Dictionary definitions for creak


to make or cause to make a harsh squeaking sound
(intransitive) to make such sounds while moving: the old car creaked along
a harsh squeaking sound
Derived Forms
creaky, adjective
creakily, adverb
creakiness, noun
creakingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: variant of croak, of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for creak

early 14c., "utter a harsh cry," of imitative origin. Used of the sound made by a rusty gate hinge, etc., from 1580s. Related: Creaked; creaking. As a noun, from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for creak



To show signs of wear; be near collapse: indications that their marriages are creaking (1930s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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