—creepingly, adv.v.i.1. to move slowly with the body close to the ground, as a reptile or an insect, or a person on hands and knees.2. to approach slowly, imperceptibly, or stealthily (often fol. by up): We crept up and peeked over the wall.3. to move or advance slowly or gradually: The automobile crept up the hill. Time just seems to creep along on these hot summer days.4. to sneak up behind someone or without someone's knowledge (usually fol. by up on): The prisoners crept up on the guard and knocked him out.5. to enter or become evident inconspicuously, gradually, or insidiously (often fol. by in or into:) The writer's personal bias occasionally creeps into the account.6. to move or behave timidly or servilely.7. to grow along the ground, a wall, etc., as a plant.8. to advance or develop gradually so as to infringe on or supplant something else: creeping inflation; creeping socialism.9. to slip, slide, or shift gradually; become displaced.10. (of a metal object) to become deformed, as under continuous loads or at high temperatures.11. Naut. to grapple (usually fol. by for): The ships crept for their anchor chains.v.t.12. Archaic. to creep along or over.13. make one's flesh creep, to be frightening or repellent; cause one to experience uneasiness: The eerie stories made our flesh creep.n.14. an act or instance of creeping.15. Slang. a boring, disturbingly eccentric, painfully introverted, or obnoxious person.16. Slang. an intelligence or counterintelligence agent; spy.17. Geol.a. the gradual movement downhill of loose soil, rock, gravel, etc.; solifluction.b. the slow deformation of solid rock resulting from constant stress applied over long periods.18. Mech. the gradual, permanent deformation of a body produced by a continued application of heat or stress.19. a grappling iron; grapnel.20. Firearms. the slack in a trigger mechanism before it releases the firing pin.21. See creep feeder.22. the creeps, Informal. a sensation of horror, fear, disgust, etc., suggestive of the feeling induced by something crawling over the skin: That horror movie gave me the creeps.[bef. 900; ME crepen, OE creopan; c. D kruipen, ON krjupa]
* * *Slow change in the dimensions of a material from prolonged stress.Most common metals exhibit creep behaviour. In the creep test, loads below those that ordinarily cause plastic flow or fracture are applied to the material, and the deformation over a period of time (creep strain) under constant load is measured, usually with an extensometer or strain gauge. Time to failure is also measured against stress. Once creep strain versus time is plotted, various mathematical techniques are available for extrapolating creep behaviour beyond the test times; thus, designers can use thousand-hour test data, for example, to predict ten-thousand-hour behaviour. See also testing machine.
* * *▪ slope movementin geology, slow downslope movement of particles that occurs on every slope covered with loose, weathered material. Even soil covered with close-knit sod creeps downslope, as indicated by slow but persistent tilting of trees, poles, gravestones, and other objects set into the ground on hillsides. The most important process producing creep, aside from direct gravitational influences, is frost heaving: as interstitial water freezes, surface particles are forced up and out perpendicular to the slope; when let down by melting, these particles are drawn directly downward by gravity and are thereby gradually moved downslope. Other processes involved are the wedging action of root growth and the wetting and drying of soil layers.
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