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creep in

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phrasal verb [intransitive]
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theycreep in
he/she/itcreeps in
present participlecreeping in
past tensecrept in
past participlecrept in

or creep into

  1. 1
    to gradually start to affect or change something

    Politicians have warned of voter cynicism creeping in, unless there's an immediate inquiry.

    creep into something:

    It seems that very few errors crept into the text.

  2. 2
    if a word or meaning creeps in, it gradually becomes used

    The French worry about the number of English words continuing to creep in.

    creep into something:

    A new meaning of "sexy" crept into the language a few years ago.

See also main entry: creep

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