Thomas Arthur Schaefer
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Monday, September 25, 2006

CREEPS

creep |krēp| verb ( past and past part. crept |krept|) [ intrans. ] 1 move slowly and carefully, esp. in order to avoid being heard or noticed : he crept downstairs, hardly making any noise | they were taught how to creep up on an enemy. • (of a thing) move very slowly at an inexorably steady pace : the fog was creeping up from the marsh. • (of a plant) grow along the ground or other surface by means of extending stems or branches : [as adj. ] ( creeping) tufts of fine leaves grow on creeping rhizomes. • (of a plastic solid) undergo gradual deformation under stress. 2 ( creep in/into) (of an unwanted and negative characteristic or fact) occur or develop gradually and almost imperceptibly : errors crept into his game | [as adj. ] ( creeping) the creeping centralization of power. • ( creep up) increase slowly but steadily in number or amount : interest rates have been creeping up in the past few weeks. noun 1 informal a detestable person. • a person who behaves in an obsequious way in the hope of advancement. 2 slow movement, esp. at a steady but almost imperceptible pace : an attempt to prevent this slow creep of costs. • the tendency of a car with automatic transmission to move when in gear without the accelerator being pressed. • the gradual downward movement of disintegrated rock or soil due to gravitational forces : stones and earth slowly slip down the slopes by soil creep. • the gradual deformation of a plastic solid under stress. • gradual bulging of the floor of a mine owing to pressure on the pillars. PHRASES give someone the creeps informal induce a feeling of revulsion or fear in someone. make one's flesh creep feel disgust or revulsion and have a sensation like that of something crawling over the skin. ORIGIN Old English crēopan [move with the body close to the ground,] of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kruipen. Sense 1 of the verb dates from Middle English .

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