To crawl is to move slowly across the floor on your hands and knees. Before they learn to walk, most babies crawl.

You might crawl around looking for a lost earring, or watch a spider crawl across your ceiling. The slow, creeping movement itself is a crawl, too: "Traffic was moving at a crawl." When your dog has fleas, he crawls with them, and if something gives you a creepy, prickling sensation, it makes your skin crawl. Crawl probably comes from the Old Norse krafla, "to claw one's way," which shares a root with crab.

Definitions of crawl
  1. verb
    move slowly; in the case of people or animals with the body near the ground
    “The crocodile was crawling along the riverbed”
    synonyms: creep
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    crawl about like ants
    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  2. noun
    a slow mode of locomotion on hands and knees or dragging the body
    “a crawl was all that the injured man could manage”
    synonyms: crawling, creep, creeping
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    type of:
    locomotion, travel
    self-propelled movement
  3. noun
    a very slow movement
    “the traffic advanced at a crawl
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    type of:
    motion, move, movement
    the act of changing location from one place to another
  4. verb
    feel as if crawling with insects
    “My skin crawled--I was terrified”
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    type of:
    be felt or perceived in a certain way
  5. verb
    show submission or fear
    synonyms: cower, creep, cringe, fawn, grovel
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    type of:
    bend, flex
    form a curve
  6. noun
    a swimming stroke; arms are moved alternately overhead accompanied by a flutter kick
    synonyms: Australian crawl, front crawl
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    type of:
    swimming stroke
    a method of moving the arms and legs to push against the water and propel the swimmer forward
  7. verb
    swim by doing the crawl
    “they often don't know how to crawl
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    type of:
    travel through water
  8. verb
    be full of
    “The old cheese was crawling with maggots”
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    type of:
    pullulate, swarm, teem
    be teeming, be abuzz
Word Family

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