Word of the Day: creepy


Word of the Day by WordReference.com

 
 
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Word Reference
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Word of the Day
 
October 14, 2015
 
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creepy (adjective) sound LISTEN icon
 
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Creepy means spooky, eerie, or scary. It can also mean that something causes unpleasant feelings, repulsion, or uneasiness. When used for a person, it means abnormal, weird, or possibly dangerous.
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Example sentences
 
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The creepy old house on the hill has been empty for years.
 
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A creepy man followed me home from the subway.
 
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The children told creepy stories around the campfire.
 
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I think Amy's constant smiling is creepy.
 
 
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Multi-word forms
 
creepy-crawly: A noun that refers to insects and bugs. Used mostly by children. It can also be an adjective that means creepy.
 
 
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Learn more about creepy in our forums
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Did you know?
 

Creepy is used to describe things that seem scary or supernatural, like old empty houses or ghost stories. But for many English speakers, it is even more common to use this word for people whose behavior makes others feel uneasy or even threatened. This usage is especially common in informal conversation.

Last week's Word of the Day "awkward" also can describe behavior that isn't socially normal or expected. However, creepy behavior is not just strange but also usually repulsive in some way and can sometimes, but not always, cause people to feel scared. In certain cases, creepy is also used for behavior that is sexually predatory. You could say, "It was awkward when Taylor went to the Halloween party without a costume." But, "It was creepy when Taylor spent the entire night standing outside the house and looking in the windows at the party instead of going in." 

 
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Other forms
 
creep (noun): This word refers to a person—often but not always a man—who has unsettling or strange behavior. Example: "That guy at the bar wouldn't stop bothering me, even when I told him to leave me alone. He's a creep!"
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Origin
 
Creepy first appeared between 1825 and 1835.
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