Difference Between Creek and Stream


Main Difference

The main difference between Creek and Stream is that Creek is a type of stream which refers to a cove from a sea whereas stream refers to a body of flowing water towards sea.

Creek vs. Stream

The creek is a small stream. The stream is a massy flow of water on the ground of earth. The creek is a type of stream. Stream types are rivers, brooks, and creeks. When water currents arise from mounts it is called creek. After the waterfalls from altitude, it forms a stream. The creek may flow from a sea. A stream flows towards the sea. The water of creek is fresh, but it can be salty. Streams have freshwater flow. The source of creek maybe a pond, a lake or sea. The stream flows from the water that falls from the sky or underground water. Creeks are narrower as compared to stream. The stream has a greater size. Creek is small while the stream is large. The water of creek is shallower. The water of the stream is deeper. The water currents of creek are turbulent while stream water drifts in streamline. The definition of creek changes with geological area conversely stream sounds the same in all topographical areas. The transportation of lightweight objects occurs in creeks. Stream allows heavy logs to transport easily. The water currents of creek cannot generate energy while stream has strong water currents, which produces energy in a hydroelectric power station. Creeks offer spectacular views as compared to stream. Creeks are more famous than those of streams.


Comparison Chart

The medium-sized stream is called creek.Any gushing flow of water is called stream.
A type of streamCategorized as river, brook, creek
Ponds, lakes, seawaterRain, snowfall, ice, groundwater
Water Flow
Varies with locationRemains constant
Only light transportationHeavy transportation, power stations

What is Creek?

The creek is a term which defines itself differently about a geographical area. In British English, it is known as a narrower stream of water. However, in North America, New Zealand, and Australia, small or medium-sized stream refers to creek. The small branch of a river is also called a creek. In the UK and India, the small shallow cove to the sea is called creek. Creek is a narrow channel between islands. It is difficult to understand its meaning because, in every dictionary, it sounds different. The creek is generally smaller as compared to a river, but it can be larger than a river and have stronger currents of water. When rains fall in mountains areas, water runs down to form small waterway. These waterways join to form a creek. The creek is formed with ponds, lakes or river water. Some creeks forms by seawater and have salty water in it. Like rivers and stream, fish and vegetation grow in lush in creeks. The depth of creek changes with location, but it has shallow water and not big enough to transport heavy materials. It does not support hydroelectric power stations to produce electricity. Creeks do not branch out into small channels. Water flow is turbulent. Creeks are fascinating and have marvelous views. Creeks are famous all over the world for their stunning views such as Canyon Creek in the US.


What is Stream?

A stream is any flowing body on the earth surface. The flow can be of water, wind or magma. In the US, it refers to streamline flowing body of water on Earth plane. The sources of the stream are rain, glaciers or groundwater. The rain falls, glaciers or ice melts, the water is stored and runs from altitude. The waterfall from the mountain is called stream. The groundwater comes out like springs and runs into a stream. The stream shape changes according to the location such as it is narrow if flows between two mountains. It shapes a river in an open area. Streams branch out into small brooks or creeks. Its branches are tributary that means stream separates into branches at a point and then rejoins to its source point. Streams maintain the water cycle. The raindrops fall from the sky and again evaporates from the streams to form the source of rain. The stream has enough depth to transport logs over it. It produces strong water currents that are used to generate electricity in hydroelectric power stations. It serves as a migration route for fish and wildlife. The biotic habitat of the stream is called “riparian zone.”


  • Brook: A smaller stream sustained by spring.
  • River: A natural larger stream referred to as a waterway.
  • Tributary: A stream which does not reach to the ocean and rejoins to its source.
  • Creek: A small to medium-sized stream.

Key Differences

  1. The creek is medium-sized stream whereas stream is a body of flowing water on the surface of the earth.
  2. The creek is a type of stream while stream can be categorized as river, brook, and creek.
  3. The creek may flow from ponds, lakes, and seawater conversely stream’s sources are rain, melting snow, ice, and groundwater.
  4. Creeks are narrower while streams are often wider.
  5. The creek is shallower; on the other hand, the water of stream has significant depth.
  6. Creek’s flow is unsteady on the flip side stream water flows in a straight line.
  7. Creek’s meanings vary with geographical areas, while stream meanings are the same everywhere.
  8. The creek can only transport lighter objects; on the flip side, the stream can transport heavy objects.


Creek and stream are running water bodies on earth’s exterior, but the creek is a small body of flowing water and stream is a large body of flowing water.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson