Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

crawl - definition and synonyms

 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb [intransitive] crawl pronunciation in American English /krɔl/
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theycrawl
he/she/itcrawls
present participlecrawling
past tensecrawled
past participlecrawled
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    crawl across/along/through etc. to move along the ground on your hands and knees or with your body close to the ground
    She crawled across the floor, her eyes stinging from the smoke.
    They crawled through the tunnel.
  2. 2
    if a vehicle crawls, it moves forward very slowly
    Cars and trucks crawled along the main road.
    1. a.
      if a person crawls somewhere, they move there very slowly or with difficulty
      I was so tired I just wanted to crawl into bed.
    2. b.
      if time crawls by, it seems to pass very slowly
      The weeks crawled by until we could meet again.
  3. 3
    showing disapproval to try extremely hard to please someone, in order to gain an advantage, in a way that makes other people not respect you
    crawl to: The way you crawl to them makes me sick.
    I’d rather die than go crawling back to him.
  4. 4
    if an insect crawls, it moves forward using its legs
    Ants were crawling over the cheese.
    Synonyms and related words

phrasal verbs

nanodegree

a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

hypocaust

an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog