Creak vs. Creek

  angbeenc  —  Grammar Tips

The words creak, creek sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Consider the sentences below:

From inside came the creak and moan of a swinging door.

Let’s go on down to the creek.

Can you tell the meanings of both the words from the above sentences? If you can’t, this is just the right place for you. This article will throw light upon the meanings, usage, origin and examples of creek and creak.


Creek originated from Middle English: from Old French crique or from Old Norse kriki ‘nook’; perhaps reinforced by Middle Dutch krēke ; of unknown ultimate origin.

Creek as noun:

Creek is used as a noun in English language where it means a narrow, sheltered waterway, especially an inlet in a shoreline or channel in a marsh.

A sandy beach in a sheltered creek.

In North America, Australia and New Zealand, creek also means a stream or minor tributary of a river.

He drove into Adam's Creek.

A member of a confederacy of American Indian peoples of the south-eastern US in the 16th to 19th centuries; their descendants now live mainly in Oklahoma.

Creak as noun:

Creak is used as a noun in English language where it means an object, typically a wooden one) make a scraping or squeaking sound when being moved or when pressure is applied.

The stairs creaked as she went up them.

Creak also means to show weakness or frailty under strain.

The system started to creak.

Creak as verb:

A scraping or squeaking sound is also known as a creak. That is how it is used in the sense of a verb.

The creak of a floorboard broke the silence.

Creek or creak:

Creak and creek are types of homonyms that are words pronounced the same but have different meanings and spellings. These words are often confused and misused in English writing. “Creak” is ‘a grating or squeaking sound — the sound made by a badly-oiled door (rusted hinges) when it opens; the sound made by damaged or worn out wooden boards of a floor (floorboards) or stairway’, “Creek” is ‘a small stream (a small canal we see after a heavy rain); a long narrow body of water; a Native North American people (tribe) lived in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, and their language’,