creep up on - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb [transitive]
present tense
I/you/we/theycreep up on
he/she/itcreeps up on
present participlecreeping up on
past tensecrept up on
past participlecrept up on
  1. 1
    creep up on someone to move towards someone quietly and slowly, especially because you want to surprise them

    I didn’t notice him creeping up on me.

  2. 2
    creep up on someone if something creeps up on you, it happens slowly or gradually so that you do not notice it happening

    It’s funny how old age suddenly creeps up on you.

See also main entry: creep