Main definitions of creek in English

: creek1Creek2

creek1

noun

British
  • 1A narrow, sheltered waterway, especially an inlet in a shoreline or channel in a marsh.

    ‘a sandy beach in a sheltered creek’
    • ‘To reach the village the soldiers had to cross a small tidal creek running gently into the ocean.’
    • ‘Then during the spring months, the mesh bags are planted on creek banks during low tide.’
    • ‘Coastal migrants can often be found along tidal creeks, salt marsh edges, and mudflats, rarely on sandy ocean beaches.’
    • ‘My eyes scan the pewter-grey mudbanks and mudflats and a distant shoreline etched with filigrees of sinuous creeks.’
    • ‘In the south, coconut palms grow on a narrow coastal strip broken by lagoons and creeks.’
    • ‘A serpentine array of tidal creeks lined with tall-form Spartina occur throughout the marsh.’
    • ‘Mudflats lie lower in the upper intertidal zone than marshes and are smooth, almost level surfaces across which tidal creeks meander.’
    • ‘Between the cliffs and the sea, the rhythmic movement of the tides is forming a new tidal marsh that includes mudflats, tidal creeks, tidal marshes, and tracts of shrubs.’
    • ‘Terrapins have been observed in several of the marsh creeks, but not in all of the creeks where searches were completed.’
    • ‘Corsica rises like a mountain from the sea, creating a coast of steep cliffs and countless creeks, interspersed with tiny deserted beaches, and washed by crystal-clear water.’
    • ‘Endless creeks and sounds divide the land up into a series of broad, semi-connected sandbars and islands, and the road loops along with bridge after bridge over wide, shallow waterways.’
    • ‘Marcus tells Frank to pack his bags because they are heading to Twin Creeks.’
    • ‘Pristine beaches, maritime forests, shimmering marshes, and tidal creeks await your exploration.’
    • ‘Walnut Creek is where he was picked up.’
    • ‘At the tidal swamps, the shore is a low, narrow levee separating the waters of the creeks from the backwaters of the swamps.’
    • ‘These were used for storing shellfish after they had been collected from nearby saltmarsh creeks and before they were taken to markets.’
    • ‘Shouts of protest ensue when students realize they have to ford a creek to get to the beach.’
    • ‘Living among creeks, lagoons, and salt marshes makes fishing and the salt trade part of everyday life in the area.’
    • ‘Extensive oyster reefs blanketed the mudflats along the state's tidal creeks and fueled the thriving industry.’
    tidal inlet, inlet, arm of the sea, estuary, bay, bight, fjord, gulf, sound
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Australian, North American, NZ A stream or minor tributary of a river.
      in place names ‘he drove into Adam's Creek’
      • ‘After hours of hard training, everyone took turns taking baths in a nearby creek.’
      • ‘There is a tiny creek meandering among the rocks, which is also believed to have healing powers.’
      • ‘Fireflies danced about and the creek water seemed to glow from the moon's reflection.’
      • ‘Recently I was wading down a shallow creek in what I assumed was fresh water.’
      • ‘Nearby, a smaller lake was created by damming a tributary creek.’
      • ‘She was able to drink from a nearby creek, but she had no food.’
      • ‘Anya let the cool water run over her as she lay down in the shallow creek.’
      • ‘They rested by a small creek running through the woods that had started to become more profuse.’
      • ‘In a few areas, rock and snow slides dammed creeks, creating small lakes.’
      • ‘The equestrian trails are densely wooded, rocky and hilly with several small creek crossings.’
      • ‘In the western suburbs, creeks rose rapidly and flooded houses.’
      • ‘They turned away from the waterfall and watched the creek flowing, listened to it.’
      • ‘The seven men had spread out and were riding along the dry creek bed.’
      • ‘Damp mornings are excellent for this detail, especially in low areas such as draws and creek bottoms.’
      • ‘The creek is flowing strong from all the runoff and spring thaw.’
      • ‘They are as at home in a mossy rock pool or muddy creek as on a spectacular wreck.’
      • ‘Firefighters used a fork lift truck to rescue a stricken horse from a muddy creek.’
      • ‘He earned his nickname playing near a muddy creek as a child.’
      • ‘Her lion tail flicked idly behind her as she walked towards the nearby creek.’
      • ‘We angled up a slope, rising away from the creek bottom.’
      stream, rivulet, brook, river, tributary, backwater
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • be up the creek

    • 1informal Be in severe difficulty or trouble, especially with no means of extricating oneself from it.

      ‘if the police raided us I'd be up the creek’
      • ‘That could only last a short time, and any service requiring samples would be up the creek without a paddle.’
      • ‘Now, to their utter dismay, that hasn't happened and with IRA decommissioning, about to utterly change the face of Northern politics, political unionism is up the creek without a paddle.’
      • ‘As for labor market ‘fluidity,’ what that really means is your middle-class job is gone and you're up the creek without a paddle - adios chump.’
      • ‘Well, it seems I'm up the creek without a paddle.’
      • ‘Should he overlook her he could be up the creek without a paddle.’
      • ‘The couple and their three children were forced to move to the new house because they had already sold the old one and David said: ‘We're up the creek without a paddle.’’
      • ‘And I'm up the creek without a paddle if I leave my daily medications, vitamins, eyeglasses, toothbrush or umbrella behind.’
      • ‘Great thinking Julie, we would been up the creek without a paddle if you wouldn't have brought that up.’
      • ‘And since I live on my own I was up the creek without a paddle.’
      • ‘But it seems that Dawson remains up the creek without a paddle.’
      in difficulty, in difficulties, having problems, in a mess, in a bad way, in a predicament, in desperate straits, in dire straits, heading for disaster, heading for the rocks, with one's back against the wall
      View synonyms
    • 2informal Be stupid or misguided.

      ‘he said my idea of Catholicism was up the creek’
  • be up shit creek

Origin

Middle English: from Old French crique or from Old Norse kriki ‘nook’; perhaps reinforced by Middle Dutch krēke; of unknown ultimate origin.

Pronunciation

creek

/kriːk/

Main definitions of creek in English

: creek1Creek2

Creek2

noun

  • 1A member of a confederacy of North American peoples of the south-eastern US in the 16th to 19th centuries; their descendants now live mainly in Oklahoma.

    • ‘And there is the tale of Jimmy Crowe, a Creek Indian from Okfuskee County, Okla., who, as a teenager, works for the Mennonites as a carpenter and subsequently becomes a preacher.’
    • ‘Essays cover the Timucua, Guale, Apalachee, Chickasaw, Caddo, Natchez, Quapaw, Cherokee, Upper Creek, Lower Creek, and Seminole Indians.’
    • ‘Born to a Creek mother and Shawnee father at Old Piqua, a Shawnee village on the Mad River in Ohio, Tecumseh was raised by an older sister and grew to manhood during the border warfare of the Revolutionary Era.’
    • ‘Joan Hill is a Creek / Cherokee painter who has received numerous recognition awards, grants, and fellowships in the art world.’
    • ‘Particularly at issue were the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole Indians of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida - the so-called Five Civilized Tribes.’
  • 2mass noun The Muskogean language that was spoken by members of the Creek confederacy.

    • ‘It has Slovak, Inuit, Creek, and Italian, but its all Greek to me.’

adjective

  • Relating to or denoting the Creek or their language.

    • ‘In 1814, a Creek faction, the Red Sticks, rose against settlers in the South but was crushed by General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama.’
    • ‘After three decades the divisions between those of the traditional and new orders erupted in a Creek civil war.’
    • ‘With the help of a Creek student named James Perryman, Presbyterian minister John Fleming created a phonetic alphabet for Muskogee.’
    • ‘Red Eagle was born Bill Weatherford, son of a white trader and a Creek mother whose maiden name had been Tait.’
    • ‘One of the first men Seekaboo enlisted was Josiah Francis, the son of an English trader and a Creek mother.’

Origin

From creek, because they lived beside the waterways of the flatlands of Georgia and Alabama.

Pronunciation

Creek

/kriːk/