Definition of creak in English:

creak

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1(of an object, typically a wooden one) make a scraping or squeaking sound when being moved or when pressure is applied:

    ‘the stairs creaked as she went up them’
    [with complement] ‘the garden gate creaked open’
    • ‘Listening closely she could hear the branches of the trees moving and creaking in the wind.’
    • ‘The wooden frame creaked and settled as she sank down into the middle of the bowl.’
    • ‘The train of merchant's wagons continued slowly into the gate, their wooden axles creaking loudly in the hot stagnant air.’
    • ‘The gates creaked open just enough to allow the three riders to enter in single file.’
    • ‘As he rounded onto his block, he heard the sound of the swings creaking at the park.’
    • ‘It may have been the sound of timbers creaking as the temperature dropped.’
    • ‘Under her feet, she could hear the wooden stairs creak.’
    • ‘I heard the gates creak open and felt a slight shove to move forward.’
    • ‘The wooden door creaked as it opened and Matthew found himself staring at it for no reason.’
    • ‘They started to walk down stairs, the wooden stairs creaked under that amount of weight.’
    • ‘I'm caught unawares as the wooden door creaks open, and a large man lurches into the room, his belly swaying with every step he takes.’
    • ‘A moment later they were riding up in the elevator that creaked ominously as it moved.’
    • ‘The large wooden doors of the gate creaked and groaned as they slowly swung from their resting place.’
    • ‘My large ears twitched as I listened to the sound of the wood creaking inside of this house.’
    • ‘As she made her way up the ladder, the wooden frame creaked loudly.’
    • ‘I heard gates creak open as I hugged a pillow to my ears.’
    • ‘Beneath her, the wooden floors creaked and her shoes sounded softly in the silence.’
    • ‘The metal door groaned and creaked before sliding open with a long screech.’
    • ‘The green gates creaked open as uncle pushed with all his might against it.’
    • ‘Both women looked up at the sound of the library door creaking open.’
    squeak, groan, grate
    screech, squeal, grind, jar, rasp, rub, scrape
    complain
    View synonyms
  • 2Show weakness or frailty under strain:

    ‘the system started to creak’
    • ‘Labour courts and arbitration systems are creaking under the weight of new cases.’
    • ‘It's every bit as chaotic and mad as London in its way, with a creaking, uncomfortably, rattly Metro system.’
    • ‘Police sources told the Evening Press the ten-year-old system was creaking under the strain as aging equipment fails.’
    • ‘With the mobile phone networks creaking under the strain, I couldn't locate any friends, and wandered off home.’
    • ‘Finally, the eccentric and creaking Greek justice system has accepted that Andy and his fellow enthusiasts are innocent.’
    • ‘The figures are the latest in a series of revelations which have led to claims that the Scottish criminal justice system is creaking at the seams.’
    • ‘The electoral system is creaking and badly in need of change.’
    • ‘The healthcare system groaned and creaked under the rising strain.’
    • ‘Our old format was creaking under the strain of multiple postings every day.’
    • ‘We have a court system that creaks under antiquated traditions, and distinct reluctance to change them.’
    • ‘Daily trials on a creaking and antiquated public transport and roads system is just a part of it.’
    • ‘The main election issue is reform of Japan's creaking pension system.’
    • ‘First, the EU's creaking institutions will be under severe strain as they try to deal with the sudden intake.’
    • ‘Police have warned they have a duty to stop people en route if the country begins to creak under the strain.’
    • ‘Any change in a system that is creaking from old age has to be welcomed.’
    • ‘Already, by 1963, the dollar had begun to creak under the strains of deepening economic contradictions.’
    • ‘It may creak a little under the strain of me getting into it each night, but other than that, it's a silent bed.’
    • ‘That system is also creaking to a halt, with plunging enlistments and retentions.’
    • ‘Systems that had been slapped together creak, then crash.’

noun

  • A scraping or squeaking sound:

    ‘the creak of a floorboard broke the silence’
    • ‘He became a little worried because he heard a light creak in the floorboards.’
    • ‘The heavy fabric blocked the sound of the thunder, and a creak outside my door was now audible.’
    • ‘My sister went on to describe noises she'd been hearing, the regular old creaks and cracks that are heard in all houses and she'd also heard a clicking sound.’
    • ‘There was a second of hesitation, possibly as Meghan was preparing for another punch, and then a creak and a thud.’
    • ‘A high-pitched creak sounded, and I craned my neck as far as I could to see what this seaman looked like.’
    • ‘I could hear the pops, the creaks, the rumbling of the ice underfoot and all around.’
    • ‘I was brought out of my reverie by the creak of a floorboard behind me.’
    • ‘A creak sounded, and a rope ladder unfurled from an unseen source.’
    • ‘The only sound was the occasional creak of the weathered ropes straining to hold out weight.’
    • ‘A muffled creak sounded from outside the walls of Feye's bedroom.’
    • ‘There was a creak of a floorboard, and the hairs on the back of her neck rose.’
    • ‘He didn't hear the creak of heavy footsteps on the basement stairs.’
    • ‘Every morning his landlady heard him walk to the door to pick up his newspaper; her ears had grown accustomed to the creaks in the floorboards.’
    • ‘A creak in the floorboard echoed throughout the house, but there was no sign that anyone had heard anything.’
    • ‘The girls fell silent as they heard a creak on the floorboards outside.’
    • ‘When he heard the creak in the floorboards he didn't even bother to look up.’
    • ‘When he was still awake he thought he heard the faint creak of a floorboard, he immediately filed that away as Kira getting her midnight snack.’
    • ‘There was a creak in the floorboards when he stood up.’
    • ‘A creak in the floorboards caused his sharp eyes to search the dark deck quickly.’
    • ‘A slight creak echoed in that same side street and a dark figure ascended from the ground as if rising from the dead.’

Origin

Middle English (as a verb in the sense ‘croak’): imitative.

Pronunciation

creak

/kriːk/