Definition of creepy-crawly in English:



  • A spider, worm, or other small flightless creature, especially when considered unpleasant or frightening.

    ‘Sylvia started to hallucinate, seeing creepy-crawlies on her bed’
    • ‘Over and over again he regales the reader with proof that snakes, spiders, crocodiles and creepy-crawlies have acquired a taste for tourist blood.’
    • ‘One of the reservations in my mind about going out to the tropics was the number of insects and other creepy-crawlies which were bound to predominate in these parts.’
    • ‘It is a basic British prejudice about ‘abroad’ that it abounds with dangerous insects and creepy-crawlies.’
    • ‘The volume of mites and other tiny creepy-crawlies inhabiting the average mattress, pillow, sofa or armchair is daunting in the extreme.’
    • ‘This addition to an otherwise austere interior keeps bedding and clothes free from creepy-crawlies and the inevitable dust and dampness brought in from outside.’
    • ‘‘I'm a little concerned about shaking scorpions out of my boots every morning and finding creepy-crawlies in my sleeping bag,’ he said.’
    • ‘I don't think I'm so enamoured by all these creepy-crawlies!’
    • ‘The creepy-crawlies won't bother me because I won't be able to see them.’
    • ‘We wandered about, marvelling over flowers and creepy-crawlies for about a half-hour before arriving back at the Clinic's parking lot, only to find Jeannie leaning patiently against the car.’
    • ‘Another acquaintance of mine didn't believe in chemical pesticides for gardening so he cut out squares from old carpet and placed one around each Brussels sprout plant to prevent creepy-crawlies climbing up.’
    • ‘The Virgin Voyager train travelling from Newcastle to Cardiff had to be cancelled when the train manager discovered a bag full of chirruping creepy-crawlies near the buffet area.’
    • ‘Atwood knows a great deal about the secret life of creepy-crawlies anyway, because her late father was a biologist and ran a research station in northern Quebec studying forest insects.’
    • ‘If anyone really cared about the welfare of slugs and other creepy-crawlies, they would make the use of poisons mandatory, and forbid gardeners to keep nematode worms in their gardens.’
    • ‘Eco-tourism is all the rage these days, but beware - apart from the creepy-crawlies, tropical jungles can hold many other pitfalls for the unwary.’
    • ‘He began his artistic career in his parents' garden where he created a laboratory in a tent-like structure, experimenting on creepy-crawlies.’
    • ‘One man raised cash by eating live creepy-crawlies!’
    • ‘As you can tell from this, I've decided I hate creepy-crawlies in my house.’
    • ‘There are going to be an awful lot of rocks to lift, and a lot of creepy-crawlies scuttling out from under them.’
    • ‘Doubtless he has been to the ends of the earth in search of all the most rare and disgusting creepy-crawlies.’
    • ‘And of course, he should always be ready to get rid of any creepy-crawly insects or stinging/biting creatures that enter our house.’
    insect, flea, mite, midge


  • Causing an unpleasant feeling of fear or unease.

    ‘creepy-crawly stories’
    • ‘The creepy-crawly factor is really big - and knowing how many of those creepy-crawly things are poisonous adds to it.’
    • ‘The transformation of the frequently ugly, bizarre, creepy-crawly caterpillar into an elegant butterfly is one of the regularly performed miracles of nature.’
    • ‘And the strong cast make James's creepy-crawly companions more appealing than insects have any right to be.’
    • ‘Varmints, cacti and creepy-crawly evildoers shared the harsh land of the high-desert country with the few humans brave and foolish enough even to stop by.’
    • ‘The name krill derives from ‘kril’, an Old Norwegian word once applied to tiny creepy-crawly things, vermin, and larval fish.’
    • ‘They develop an uncomfortable, creepy-crawly feeling in the legs that causes agitation.’
    • ‘If that isn't enough there are other creepy-crawly threats that jump around trying to kill you, like spiders and fleas.’
    • ‘Sadly, there are no guilty pleasures to be had from this creepy-crawly concoction.’
    • ‘I love the creepy-crawly critters, the ones with the fangs and the stingers and the claws.’
    • ‘If you've never experienced restless leg syndrome, it's hard to understand the creepy-crawly feelings forcing your legs to move.’
    • ‘Some describe it as a creepy-crawly sensation.’
    • ‘People with this sleep disorder feel a creepy-crawly sensation in the legs when they're at rest.’
    • ‘What's disconcerting isn't the discovery of that first flea or tick, but the creepy-crawly feeling that if you've found one, many more are lurking nearby to take its place.’
    • ‘A few worms and beetles had gotten into the dirt as she picked it up, and above all things, Chelsea hated those creepy-crawly creatures.’
    • ‘We're a 110-acre theme park with alligators, snakes, spiders, and creepy-crawly stuff.’
    • ‘There was nothing but rocks, sand, and tough, scraggly trees - and the nearest town, Milford, was an hour away - but it still gave him the creepy-crawlies.’
    • ‘But giving the state the power to take your vote away because it thinks you aren't smart enough to execute it gives me the creepy-crawlies.’
    • ‘He had this creepy-crawly feeling that something was wrong.’