I. intransitive verb
Etymology: Middle English crepen, from Old English crēopan; akin to Old Norse krjūpa to creep
Date: before 12th century
a. to move along with the body prone and close to the ground
b. to move slowly on hands and knees
a. to go very slowly <the hours crept by> b. to go timidly or cautiously so as to escape notice <she crept away from the festive scene> c. to enter or advance gradually so as to be almost unnoticed <age creeps up on us> <a note of irritation crept into her voice> 3. to have the sensation of being covered with creeping things <the thought made his flesh creep> 4. of a plant to spread or grow over a surface rooting at intervals or clinging with tendrils, stems, or aerial roots 5. a. to slip or gradually shift position b. to change shape permanently from prolonged stress or exposure to high temperatures II. noun Date: 1818 1. a movement of or like creeping <traffic moving at a creep> 2. a distressing sensation like that caused by the creeping of insects over one's flesh; especially a feeling of apprehension or horror — usually used in plural with the <that gives me the creeps> 3. a feed trough accessible only by young animals and used especially to supply special or supplementary feed — called also creep feeder 4. the slow change of dimensions of an object from prolonged exposure to high temperature or stress 5. an unpleasant or obnoxious person 6. a slow but persistent increase or elevation <this political inertia…makes budget creep inevitable — Wall Street Journal>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.