Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


a. A living being, especially an animal: land creatures; microscopic creatures in a drop of water.
b. A human.
c. An imaginary or fantastical being: mythological creatures; a creature from outer space.
2. One dependent on or subservient to another.
3. Something created.

crea′tur·al adj.
crea′ture·li·ness n.
crea′ture·ly adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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As a symbol of creaturely connectedness breaching biological and territorial boundaries, the mermaid in Kellerman's work foments new ideas about what it means to be both a woman and a human being.
Eric Santner has influentially theorized such moments as revealing the "creaturely" dimension of human life--as moments when human life is exposed to nonhuman life forms without being able to coincide with them (indeed, human life is defined by the impossibility of such coincidence).
Drawing on Eric Santner's contention in his On Creaturely Life (2006) that human life is rendered "creaturely" at the point where "life becomes a matter of politics and politics comes to inform the very matter and materiality of life", Anderton argues that Beckett's characters live "creaturely" lives, embodying the sense that humanity itself, at least as it had been defined in pre-war humanistic terms, has been rendered untenable.
There is a creaturely, magical dimension to this story.
At the heart of these concerns is the idea of God, which human reason, Kant claims, "can neither resist nor tolerate." Reason cannot resist the idea of God as the unconditioned cause of all else, but neither can it tolerate such an idea, for it seems to preclude true creaturely freedom.
A merely creaturely or a merely divine process would explain nothing.
Francis warns us that we have disrupted the harmony between the Creator, humanity and creation "by our presuming to take the place of God and refusing to acknowledge our creaturely limitations." As a result, the originally harmonious relationship between human beings and nature became conflictual.
Creaturely Love: How Desire Makes Us More and Less Than Human
Christ is not portrayed as the "Redeemer," as the canonical Catholic tradition would have him, but he is recovered for his creaturely essence, as a representation of what modern biopolitical thought has named "bare life"--that is, what remains to human life once it has been stripped of any political and ideological value.
Lady Liberty marked a slight departure from Puppies's growing pantheon of pop-cultural characters whose creaturely or monstrous bodies make them objects of disgust or fear--but still, it's not easy being green.
What would be the point of such an attention towards human subjectivity if it ignored the hordes of creaturely and non-creaturely objects, devices, and systems that are clamouring at the doors of history?