from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To move slowly on the hands and knees or by dragging the body along the ground; creep.
  • intransitive v. To advance slowly, feebly, laboriously, or with frequent stops: We crawled along until we reached the open road.
  • intransitive v. To proceed or act servilely.
  • intransitive v. To be or feel as if swarming or covered with moving things: The accident scene was crawling with police officers. My flesh crawled in horror. See Synonyms at teem1.
  • intransitive v. To swim the crawl.
  • n. The action of moving slowly on the hands or knees or dragging the body along the ground.
  • n. An extremely slow pace: Traffic was moving at a crawl.
  • n. Sports A rapid swimming stroke consisting of alternating overarm strokes and a flutter kick.
  • n. A set of letters or figures that move across, up, or down a movie or television screen, usually giving information, such as film credits or weather alerts.
  • n. A pen in shallow water, as for confining fish or turtles.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To creep; to move slowly on hands and knees, or by dragging the body along the ground.
  • v. To move forward slowly, with frequent stops.
  • v. To act in a servile manner.
  • v. See crawl with.
  • v. To feel a swarming sensation.
  • v. To swim using the crawl stroke.
  • v. To move over an area on hands and knees.
  • v. To visit while becoming inebriated.
  • v. To visit files or web sites in order to index them for searching.
  • n. The act of moving slowly on hands and knees etc, or with frequent stops
  • n. A rapid swimming stroke with alternate overarm strokes and a fluttering kick
  • n. A piece of horizontally scrolling text overlaid on the main image.
  • n. A pen or enclosure of stakes and hurdles for holding fish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or motion of crawling; slow motion, as of a creeping animal.
  • n. A pen or inclosure of stakes and hurdles on the seacoast, for holding fish.
  • intransitive v. To move slowly by drawing the body along the ground, as a worm; to move slowly on hands and knees; to creep.
  • intransitive v. to move or advance in a feeble, slow, or timorous manner.
  • intransitive v. To advance slowly and furtively; to insinuate one's self; to advance or gain influence by servile or obsequious conduct.
  • intransitive v. To have a sensation as of insect creeping over the body. See Creep, v. i., 7.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To move slowly by thrusting or drawing the body along the ground, as a worm; creep.
  • To move or walk feebly, slowly, laboriously, or timorously.
  • To advance slowly and secretly or cunningly; hence, to insinuate one's self; gain favor by obsequious conduct.
  • To have a sensation like that produced by a worm crawling upon the body: as, the flesh crawls.
  • n. The act of crawling; a slow, crawling motion: as, his walk is almost a crawl.
  • n. A pen or inclosure of stakes and hurdles on the sea-coast, for containing fish or turtles.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. swim by doing the crawl
  • n. a very slow movement
  • v. move slowly; in the case of people or animals with the body near the ground
  • n. a swimming stroke; arms are moved alternately overhead accompanied by a flutter kick
  • v. show submission or fear
  • n. a slow mode of locomotion on hands and knees or dragging the body
  • v. be full of
  • v. feel as if crawling with insects


Middle English craulen, from Old Norse krafla; see gerbh- in Indo-European roots.
Afrikaans kraal, enclosure for animals; see kraal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English crawlen, from Old Norse krafla (cf. Danish kravle ‘to crawl, creep’, Swedish kravla), from Proto-Germanic *krablōnan (cf. Dutch krabbelen, Low German krabbeln, Middle High German krappeln), frequentative of Proto-Germanic *krabbōnan ‘to scratch, scrape’. More at crab. (Wiktionary)
Compare kraal. (Wiktionary)



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