“Creak” and “creek” are homophones: words that sound the same when spoken but have different meanings. So, what’s the difference between “creak” and “creek,” aside from their spellings? And how do you make sure you use the right word in your writing? Check out our tips below to find out.
Creak (A Harsh Squeaking Sound)
The verb “creak” means to make a long, harsh grating or squeaking sound. It typically describes a noise made by something that is old or worn out:
The floorboards in the attic creak as I walk over them.
For this reason, some people use it more metaphorically to imply being weak with age, even if there is no literal “creaking” sound in the situation described:
My old computer creaks whenever I download a new game.
“Creak” is also the noun form of this word, so we could say:
The rusty door hinges opened with a creak.
The adjectival and adverbial forms of this word, meanwhile, are “creaky” and “creakily,” respectively.
Creek (A Narrow River)
The noun “creek” usually means “a small stream or narrow river”:
We stopped to drink water from the creek.
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