Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “crawl”

crawl

verb     /krɔːl/
PERSON [I] B2 to move on your hands and knees: I crawled under the desk to plug the lamp in.Moving on your hands and legs or on your stomach
ANIMAL [I] If an insect crawls, it uses its legs to move: There's an ant crawling up your leg.Moving on your hands and legs or on your stomach
TRAFFIC [I] If traffic crawls, it moves extremely slowly: We were crawling along at 10 miles per hour.Slow and moving slowly
TRY TO PLEASE [I] UK informal to try to please someone because you want them to like you or help you: My brother is always crawling to Mum.Praising insincerely or too eagerly
be crawling with sb/sth to be full of insects or people in a way that is unpleasant: The kitchen's crawling with ants.Full
(Definition of crawl verb from the Cambridge Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Moving on your hands and legs or on your stomach, but you might be interested in these topics from the Moving or holding the body in various ways topic area:

More Learner's Dictionary definitions for “crawl”

Definitions of “crawl” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

altruistic

showing a wish to help or bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantage for yourself

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More