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[kree-per] /ˈkri pər/
a person or thing that creeps.
Botany. a plant that grows upon or just beneath the surface of the ground, or upon any other surface, sending out rootlets from the stem, as ivy and couch grass.
Often, creepers. a one-piece garment for an infant, the lower portion resembling briefs and having snaps or buttons across the crotch for convenience in diapering.
Chiefly Northeastern U.S. a spiked iron plate worn on the shoe to prevent slipping on ice, rock, etc.
Also called cradle. Automotive. a flat framework on casters, on which a mechanic lies while working under an automobile or the like.
Ornithology. any of various birds that creep or climb about on trees, especially of the family Certhiidae, as Certhia americana (brown creeper or tree creeper) of the Northern Hemisphere.
a domestic fowl having malformed, short legs, due to a genetic defect.
a grappling device for dragging a river, lake, etc.
Also, creep. Slang. a sneak thief.
Slang. a person who makes persistent sexual advances toward someone, or who cheats on a sexual partner.
Slang. creep (def 18).
Slang. a person who follows someone persistently or stealthily; a stalker.
Origin of creeper
before 1000; Middle English crepere, Old English crēopere. See creep, -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for creepers
Historical Examples
  • The poles were of bamboo, and the walls strong pieces of bark, secured by ropes composed of creepers.

    In the Wilds of Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • I went up to it and searched among the creepers, but still could find no opening.

    Allan's Wife H. Rider Haggard
  • Among other creepers was the vanilla, entwining itself round the trees and producing a pleasing effect.

    The Young Llanero W.H.G. Kingston
  • Palms, flowering shrubs, ferns, and creepers rioted on all sides.

    Tales of the Malayan Coast Rounsevelle Wildman
  • Thy path is full of rocks and boulders, there is no way out near; it is overgrown with creepers and wolf's-foot.

  • Then, remind me to wire to the creepers on the evening of their afternoon to say I have a chill.

    The Twelfth Hour Ada Leverson
  • Often a wrong direction was taken, and a circuit had to be made to get round a tree, a mass of creepers, or a deep pool.

    From Edinburgh to India & Burmah William G. Burn Murdoch
  • There was a whole tribe of monkeys frolicking about among the creepers.

  • Her enjoyment of the creepers that twined their way up the pillars of the porch was simply perfection as a piece of acting.

    The Legacy of Cain Wilkie Collins
  • These islands were perfect thickets of thorns, creepers, and small trees.

    Great African Travellers W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for creepers


a person or animal that creeps
a plant, such as the ivy or periwinkle, that grows by creeping
(US & Canadian) Also called tree creeper. any small songbird of the family Certhiidae of the N hemisphere, having a brown-and-white plumage and slender downward-curving bill. They creep up trees to feed on insects
a hooked instrument for dragging deep water
Also called cradle. a flat board or framework mounted on casters, used to lie on when working under cars
(cricket) Also called daisy cutter. a bowled ball that keeps low or travels along the ground
either of a pair of low iron supports for logs in a hearth
(informal) a shoe with a soft sole
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 creepers



Old English creopera "one who creeps," agent noun from creep (v.). Also see creep (n.). Meaning "lice" is from 1570s; of certain birds from 1660s; of certain plants from 1620s.

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



sneakers (1900+ Underworld)



Christ •A euphemistic form: Creepers, but that was a nasty moment (1940s+)

Related Terms

jeepers creepers



  1. The lowest gear on a truck (1930s+ Truckers)
  2. A performer who moves closer and closer to the microphone (1940s+ Radio studio)
  3. A sneak thief: He knew they couldn't be boosters or creepers, not flashing their bread the way these two were doing (1930s+ Underworld)
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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