creed (n.) Look up creed at Dictionary.com
Old English creda "article or statement of Christian belief," from Latin credo "I believe" (see credo). Broadening 17c. to mean "any statement of belief."
creek (n.) Look up creek at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., creke "narrow inlet in a coastline," altered from kryk (early 13c.; in place names from 12c.), probably from Old Norse kriki "corner, nook," perhaps influenced by Anglo-French crique, itself from a Scandinavian source via Norman. Perhaps ultimately related to crook and with an original notion of "full of bends and turns" (compare dialectal Swedish krik "corner, bend; creek, cove").

Extended to "inlet or short arm of a river" by 1570s, which probably led to use for "small stream, brook" in American English (1620s). Also used there and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand for "branch of a main river," possibly from explorers moving up main rivers and seeing and noting mouths of tributaries without knowing they often were extensive rivers of their own. Slang phrase up the creek "in trouble," often especially "pregnant," first recorded 1941, perhaps originally armed forces slang for "lost while on patrol."
Creek Look up Creek at Dictionary.com
Indian tribe or confederation, 1725, named for creek, the geographical feature, and abbreviated from Ochese Creek Indians, from the place in Georgia where English first encountered them. Native name is Muskogee, a word of uncertain origin.
creel (n.) Look up creel at Dictionary.com
early 14c., originally Scottish, of unknown origin. Perhaps related to Middle French crille "latticework."
creep (v.) Look up creep at Dictionary.com
Old English creopan "to creep" (class II strong verb; past tense creap, past participle cropen), from Proto-Germanic *kreupan (source also of Old Frisian kriapa, Middle Dutch crupen, Old Norse krjupa "to creep"), perhaps from a PIE root *g(e)r- "crooked" [Watkins]. Related: Crept; creeping.
creep (n.) Look up creep at Dictionary.com
"a creeping motion," 1818, from creep (v.). Meaning "despicable person" is 1935, American English slang, perhaps from earlier sense of "sneak thief" (1914). Creeper "a gilded rascal" is recorded from c. 1600, and the word also was used of certain classes of thieves, especially those who robbed customers in brothels. The creeps "a feeling of dread or revulsion" first attested 1849, in Dickens.
creeper (n.) Look up creeper at Dictionary.com
Old English creopera "one who creeps," agent noun from creep (v.). Also see creep (n.). Meaning "lice" is from 1570s; of certain birds from 1660s; of certain plants from 1620s.
creepy (adj.) Look up creepy at Dictionary.com
1794, "characterized by creeping," from creep + -y (2). Meaning "having a creeping feeling in the flesh" is from 1831; that of producing such a feeling, the main modern sense, is from 1858. Creepy-crawly is from 1858.
cremate (v.) Look up cremate at Dictionary.com
1874, a back-formation from cremation. Related: Cremated; cremating.
cremation (n.) Look up cremation at Dictionary.com
1620s, from Latin cremationem (nominative crematio), noun of action from past participle stem of cremare "to burn, consume by fire" (also used of the dead), from PIE *krem-, extended form of root *ker- (4) "heat, fire" (see carbon).
crematoria (n.) Look up crematoria at Dictionary.com
plural of Modern Latin crematorium (see crematorium).
crematorium (n.) Look up crematorium at Dictionary.com
1880, from Latin cremator-, stem of cremare (see cremation) + -orium (see -ory).
crematory (n.) Look up crematory at Dictionary.com
1876, the nativized form of crematorium. From 1884 as an adjective.
creme (n.) Look up creme at Dictionary.com
1845, from French crème (see cream (n.)). For crème brûlée, see brulee.
creme de la creme (n.) Look up creme de la creme at Dictionary.com
"elite, finest flower of society," 1848, from French crème de la crème, literally "the cream of the cream" (see cream (n.)).
crenel (n.) Look up crenel at Dictionary.com
"open space on an embattlement," early 14c., from Old French crenel (12c.), apparently a diminutive of cren "notch" (see cranny).
crenelate (v.) Look up crenelate at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from French créneler, from crénelé (12c.); see crenel. Sometimes also crenellate; the double -l- seems to be from a presumed Latin *crenella as a diminutive of crena. Related: Crenelated (1823), also crenellated; crenellation (1849). Earlier formes of the past participle adjective included carneled.
crenelated (adj.) Look up crenelated at Dictionary.com
1823, past participle adjective from crenelate.
creole (n.) Look up creole at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from French créole (17c.), from Spanish criollo "person native to a locality," from Portuguese crioulo, diminutive of cria "person (especially a servant) raised in one's house," from criar "to raise or bring up," from Latin creare "to produce, create" (see create).

The exact sense varies with local use. Originally with no connotation of color or race; Fowler (1926) writes: "Creole does not imply mixture of race, but denotes a person either of European or (now rarely) of negro descent born and naturalized in certain West Indian and American countries." In U.S. use, applied to descendants of French and Spanish settlers in Louisiana from at least 1792. Of languages, from 1879. As an adjective, from 1748.
creosote (n.) Look up creosote at Dictionary.com
1835, from German Kreosot, coined 1832 by its discoverer, German-born natural philosopher Carl Ludwig, Baron Reichenbach (1788-1869), from Greek kreo-, comb. form of kreas "flesh" (see raw) + soter "preserver," from soizein "save, preserve" (perhaps from PIE root *teue- "to swell"). So called because it was used as an antiseptic.
crepe (n.) Look up crepe at Dictionary.com
1797, from French crêpe, from Old French crespe (14c.), from Latin crispa, fem. of crispus "curled, wrinkled, having curly hair," from PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend." Meaning "small, thin pancake" is from 1877. Crepe paper is first attested 1895.
crepitation (n.) Look up crepitation at Dictionary.com
1650s, noun of action from Latin crepitare "to crackle," frequentative of crepare "to crack, creak" (see raven). In medical use from 1834.
crepitus (n.) Look up crepitus at Dictionary.com
c. 1810, from Latin crepitus "a rattling, creaking;" another word for crepitation, which is from the same root.
crept Look up crept at Dictionary.com
past tense and past participle of creep (v.).
crepuscular (adj.) Look up crepuscular at Dictionary.com
figurative use from 1660s; literal use from 1755, from Latin crepusculum "twilight, dusk," from creper "dusky," which is of unknown origin. Especially of evening twilight.
crepuscule (n.) Look up crepuscule at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French crépuscule (13c.), from Latin crepusculum.
crescendo (n.) Look up crescendo at Dictionary.com
1776 as a musical term, from Italian crescendo "increasing," from Latin crescendo, ablative of gerund of crescere "to increase" (see crescent). Figurative use is from 1785. As a verb, from 1900.
crescent (n.) Look up crescent at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "crescent-shaped ornament," from Anglo-French cressaunt, from Old French creissant "crescent of the moon" (12c., Modern French croissant), from Latin crescentum (nominative crescens), present participle of crescere "come forth, spring up, grow, thrive, swell, increase in numbers or strength," from PIE root *ker- (3) "to grow" (source also of Latin Ceres, goddess of agriculture, creare "to bring forth, create, produce;" Greek kouros "boy," kore "girl;" Armenian serem "bring forth," serim "be born").

Applied in Latin to the waxing moon, luna crescens, but subsequently in Latin mistaken to refer to the shape, not the stage. The original Latin sense is preserved in crescendo. A badge or emblem of the Turkish sultans (probably chosen for its suggestion of "increase"); figurative sense of "Muslim political power" is from 1580s, but modern writers often falsely associate it with the Saracens of the Crusades or the Moors of Spain. Horns of the waxing moon are on the viewer's left side; those of the waning moon are on his right.
cress (n.) Look up cress at Dictionary.com
Old English cresse, originally cærse, from Proto-Germanic *krasjon- (source also of Middle Low German kerse, karse; Middle Dutch kersse; Old High German kresso, German Kresse), from PIE root *gras- "to devour" (see gastric). It underwent a metathesis similar to that of grass. French cresson, Italian crescione are Germanic loan-words.
crest (v.) Look up crest at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "provide with a crest," from Old French crester, from creste (see crest (n.)). Meaning "to come over the top of" is from 1832. Related: Crested; cresting.
crest (n.) Look up crest at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Old French creste "tuft, comb" (Modern French crête), from Latin crista "tuft, plume," perhaps related to word for "hair" (such as crinis), but it also was used for crest of a cock or a helmet. Said by Watkins to be from an extended form of PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend." Replaced Old English hris.
crestfallen (adj.) Look up crestfallen at Dictionary.com
1580s, past participle adjective, but the verb crestfall is recorded only from 1610s, in reference to diseased horses, and is rare. It's possible that the image behind this use of the word is not cocks, as often is asserted, but horses.
cretaceous (adj.) Look up cretaceous at Dictionary.com
1670s, "chalky," from Latin cretaceus "chalk-like," from creta "chalk." As a geological period (with a capital C-), it was first used 1832. The extensive chalk beds of southeastern England were laid down during the Cretaceous.
Cretan (n.) Look up Cretan at Dictionary.com
Old English Cretense (plural), from Latin Cretanus (singular); see Crete. They were proverbial in ancient times as liars; compare Greek kretismos "lying," literally "Cretan behavior."
Crete Look up Crete at Dictionary.com
traditionally said to be from Krus, name of a mythological ancestor, but probably an ethnic name of some sort.
cretin (n.) Look up cretin at Dictionary.com
1779, from French crétin (18c.), from Alpine dialect crestin, "a dwarfed and deformed idiot" of a type formerly found in families in the Alpine lands, a condition caused by a congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones, from Vulgar Latin *christianus "a Christian," a generic term for "anyone," but often with a sense of "poor fellow." Related: Cretinism (1801).
cretonne (n.) Look up cretonne at Dictionary.com
1870, from French cretonne (1723), supposedly from Creton, village in Normandy where it originally was made.
crevasse (n.) Look up crevasse at Dictionary.com
1823, of glaciers; 1814, of riverbanks (in that case from Louisiana French), from French crevasse, from Old French crevace "crevice" (see crevice). Essentially the same word as crevice, but re-adopted in senses for which the meaning that had taken hold in crevice was felt to be too small.
crevice (n.) Look up crevice at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French crevace (12c., Modern French crevasse) "gap, rift, crack" (also, vulgarly, "the female pudenda"), from Vulgar Latin *crepacia, from Latin crepare "to crack, creak" (see raven); meaning shifted from the sound of breaking to the resulting fissure.
crew (n.) Look up crew at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "group of soldiers," from Middle French crue (Old French creue) "an increase, recruit, military reinforcement," from fem. past participle of creistre "grow," from Latin crescere "arise, grow" (see crescent). Meaning "people acting or working together" is first attested 1560s. "Gang of men on a warship" is from 1690s. Crew-cut first attested 1938, so called because the style originally was adopted by boat crews at Harvard and Yale.
crewel (n.) Look up crewel at Dictionary.com
embroidery, 1590s, of unknown origin. Earliest usage is late 15c., as a name for a kind of thin, worsted yarn originally used in crewel work.
crib (n.) Look up crib at Dictionary.com
Old English cribbe "manger, fodder bin in cowsheds and fields," from a West Germanic root (source also of Old Saxon kribbia "manger;" Old Frisian and Middle Dutch kribbe; Old High German krippa, German Krippe "crib, manger") probably related to German krebe "basket." Meaning "child's bed with barred sides" is 1640s; probably from frequent use in reference to the manger where infant Jesus was laid. Thieves' slang for "dwelling house" dates to at least 1812, but late 20c. use probably is independent. The Old High German version passed to French and became creche.
crib (v.) Look up crib at Dictionary.com
"steal," 17c. from crib (n.) in a secondary sense "a basket;" this probably also is the source of student slang meaning "plagiarize" (1778). Related: Cribbed; cribbing.
cribbage (n.) Look up cribbage at Dictionary.com
the card game, 1620s, probably from crib "set of cards thrown from each player's hand," which is of uncertain origin, though this word is later than the game name.
crick (n.) Look up crick at Dictionary.com
early 15c., of uncertain origin; OED says "probably onomatopœic."
cricket (n.1) Look up cricket at Dictionary.com
the insect, early 14c., from Old French criquet (12c.) "a cricket," from criquer "to creak, rattle, crackle," of echoic origin.
cricket (n.2) Look up cricket at Dictionary.com
the game, 1590s, apparently from Old French criquet "goal post, stick," perhaps from Middle Dutch/Middle Flemish cricke "stick, staff," perhaps from the same root as crutch. Sense of "fair play" is first recorded 1851, on notion of "cricket as it should be played."
cried Look up cried at Dictionary.com
past tense and past participle of cry (v.).
crier (n.) Look up crier at Dictionary.com
early 13c. as a surname; as an officer of the courts, late 13c., agent noun from cry (v.); town crier sense is late 14c.
crikey Look up crikey at Dictionary.com
exclamation, 1838, probably one of the many substitutions for Christ.