Main meanings of creek in English

: creek1Creek2


Pronunciation /kriːk/

See synonyms for creek

Translate creek into Spanish


  • 1mainly British A narrow, sheltered waterway, especially an inlet in a shoreline or channel in a marsh.

    ‘a sandy beach in a sheltered creek’
    • ‘Coastal migrants can often be found along tidal creeks, salt marsh edges, and mudflats, rarely on sandy ocean beaches.’
    • ‘Between the cliffs and the sea, the rhythmic movement of the tides is forming a new tidal marsh that includes mudflats, tidal creeks, tidal marshes, and tracts of shrubs.’
    • ‘Pristine beaches, maritime forests, shimmering marshes, and tidal creeks await your exploration.’
    • ‘My eyes scan the pewter-grey mudbanks and mudflats and a distant shoreline etched with filigrees of sinuous creeks.’
    • ‘Endless creeks and sounds divide the land up into a series of broad, semi-connected sandbars and islands, and the road loops along with bridge after bridge over wide, shallow waterways.’
    • ‘Mudflats lie lower in the upper intertidal zone than marshes and are smooth, almost level surfaces across which tidal creeks meander.’
    • ‘A serpentine array of tidal creeks lined with tall-form Spartina occur throughout the marsh.’
    • ‘These were used for storing shellfish after they had been collected from nearby saltmarsh creeks and before they were taken to markets.’
    • ‘At the tidal swamps, the shore is a low, narrow levee separating the waters of the creeks from the backwaters of the swamps.’
    • ‘In the south, coconut palms grow on a narrow coastal strip broken by lagoons and creeks.’
    • ‘Terrapins have been observed in several of the marsh creeks, but not in all of the creeks where searches were completed.’
    • ‘Living among creeks, lagoons, and salt marshes makes fishing and the salt trade part of everyday life in the area.’
    • ‘Corsica rises like a mountain from the sea, creating a coast of steep cliffs and countless creeks, interspersed with tiny deserted beaches, and washed by crystal-clear water.’
    • ‘To reach the village the soldiers had to cross a small tidal creek running gently into the ocean.’
    • ‘Walnut Creek is where he was picked up.’
    • ‘Pristine beaches, maritime forests, shimmering marshes, and tidal creeks await your exploration.’
    • ‘Extensive oyster reefs blanketed the mudflats along the state's tidal creeks and fueled the thriving industry.’
    • ‘Marcus tells Frank to pack his bags because they are heading to Twin Creeks.’
    • ‘Shouts of protest ensue when students realize they have to ford a creek to get to the beach.’
    • ‘Then during the spring months, the mesh bags are planted on creek banks during low tide.’
    tidal inlet, inlet, arm of the sea, estuary, bay, bight, fjord, gulf, sound
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1North American, Australian, New Zealand A stream or minor tributary of a river.
      in place names ‘he drove into Adam's Creek’
      • ‘They rested by a small creek running through the woods that had started to become more profuse.’
      • ‘The seven men had spread out and were riding along the dry creek bed.’
      • ‘Her lion tail flicked idly behind her as she walked towards the nearby creek.’
      • ‘After hours of hard training, everyone took turns taking baths in a nearby creek.’
      • ‘She was able to drink from a nearby creek, but she had no food.’
      • ‘They turned away from the waterfall and watched the creek flowing, listened to it.’
      • ‘The creek is flowing strong from all the runoff and spring thaw.’
      • ‘Firefighters used a fork lift truck to rescue a stricken horse from a muddy creek.’
      • ‘He earned his nickname playing near a muddy creek as a child.’
      • ‘They are as at home in a mossy rock pool or muddy creek as on a spectacular wreck.’
      • ‘In a few areas, rock and snow slides dammed creeks, creating small lakes.’
      • ‘Nearby, a smaller lake was created by damming a tributary creek.’
      • ‘The equestrian trails are densely wooded, rocky and hilly with several small creek crossings.’
      • ‘In the western suburbs, creeks rose rapidly and flooded houses.’
      • ‘We angled up a slope, rising away from the creek bottom.’
      • ‘Damp mornings are excellent for this detail, especially in low areas such as draws and creek bottoms.’
      • ‘Recently I was wading down a shallow creek in what I assumed was fresh water.’
      • ‘Anya let the cool water run over her as she lay down in the shallow creek.’
      • ‘There is a tiny creek meandering among the rocks, which is also believed to have healing powers.’
      • ‘Fireflies danced about and the creek water seemed to glow from the moon's reflection.’
      stream, rivulet, brook, river, tributary, backwater
      View synonyms


    be up shit creek
    vulgar slang
    • Be in severe difficulty or trouble, especially with no means of extricating oneself from it.

    be up the creek
    • Be in severe difficulty or trouble, especially with no means of extricating oneself from it.

      • ‘if the police raided us I'd be up the creek’
      • ‘The couple and their three children were forced to move to the new house because they had already sold the old one and David said: ‘We're up the creek without a paddle.’’
      • ‘As for labor market ‘fluidity,’ what that really means is your middle-class job is gone and you're up the creek without a paddle - adios chump.’
      • ‘And since I live on my own I was up the creek without a paddle.’
      • ‘But it seems that Dawson remains up the creek without a paddle.’
      • ‘That could only last a short time, and any service requiring samples would be up the creek without a paddle.’
      • ‘Great thinking Julie, we would been up the creek without a paddle if you wouldn't have brought that up.’
      • ‘And I'm up the creek without a paddle if I leave my daily medications, vitamins, eyeglasses, toothbrush or umbrella behind.’
      • ‘Well, it seems I'm up the creek without a paddle.’
      • ‘Should he overlook her he could be up the creek without a paddle.’


Middle English from Old French crique or from Old Norse kriki ‘nook’; perhaps reinforced by Middle Dutch krēke; of unknown ultimate origin.

Main meanings of Creek in English

: creek1Creek2


Pronunciation /kriːk/

See synonyms for Creek

Translate Creek into Spanish

nounplural noun Creek

  • 1A member of a confederacy of North American peoples of the south-eastern US in the 16th to 19th centuries; their descendants now live mainly in Oklahoma.

    ‘Joan Hill is a Creek / Cherokee painter who has received numerous recognition awards, grants, and fellowships in the art world.’
    • ‘And there is the tale of Jimmy Crowe, a Creek Indian from Okfuskee County, Okla., who, as a teenager, works for the Mennonites as a carpenter and subsequently becomes a preacher.’
    • ‘Born to a Creek mother and Shawnee father at Old Piqua, a Shawnee village on the Mad River in Ohio, Tecumseh was raised by an older sister and grew to manhood during the border warfare of the Revolutionary Era.’
    • ‘Particularly at issue were the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole Indians of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida - the so-called Five Civilized Tribes.’
    • ‘Essays cover the Timucua, Guale, Apalachee, Chickasaw, Caddo, Natchez, Quapaw, Cherokee, Upper Creek, Lower Creek, and Seminole Indians.’
  • 2mass noun The Muskogean language that was spoken by members of the Creek confederacy.

    • ‘It has Slovak, Inuit, Creek, and Italian, but its all Greek to me.’


  • Relating to or denoting the Creek or their language.

    ‘In 1814, a Creek faction, the Red Sticks, rose against settlers in the South but was crushed by General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama.’
    • ‘With the help of a Creek student named James Perryman, Presbyterian minister John Fleming created a phonetic alphabet for Muskogee.’
    • ‘After three decades the divisions between those of the traditional and new orders erupted in a Creek civil war.’
    • ‘One of the first men Seekaboo enlisted was Josiah Francis, the son of an English trader and a Creek mother.’
    • ‘Red Eagle was born Bill Weatherford, son of a white trader and a Creek mother whose maiden name had been Tait.’


From creek, because they lived beside the waterways of the flatlands of Georgia and Alabama.