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[chig-oh] /ˈtʃɪg oʊ/
a flea, Tunga penetrans, of tropical America and Africa, the impregnated female of which embeds itself in the skin, especially of the feet, of humans and animals and becomes greatly distended with eggs.
Also called chigoe flea, chigger, jigger, sand flea.
Origin of chigoe
Borrowed into English from Carib around 1685-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for chigoe
Historical Examples
  • Occasionally a gorilla or a chimpanzee may get a chigoe in its toe.

    The Flea Harold Russell
  • The chigoe lays about sixty eggs, depositing them in a sort of sac on each side of the external opening of the oviduct.

    Our Common Insects Alpheus Spring Packard
  • The chigoe (Dermatophilus penetrans) is a native originally of South America.

    The Flea Harold Russell
  • It is like the red "chigoe" which inserts his tiny head in the flesh and burrows until he causes a throbbing fester.

  • In hot countries the chigoe (Dermatophilus penetrans) is a serious and troublesome pest, particularly to bare-footed people.

    The Flea Harold Russell
  • The chigoe remained the only member of the family known to scientific entomologists until the year 1860.

    The Flea Harold Russell
  • All the chigoe family have eyes; but in one recently discovered species the eye is very small and devoid of pigment.

    The Flea Harold Russell
  • Passing to the fleas, the most important and truly parasitic form is the chigoe or gigger (Pulex penetrans).

    Parasites T. Spencer Cobbold
  • Probably the common flea and the chigoe would form distinct genera.

  • Sarcopsylla, sr-kop-sil′a, n. a genus of American insects, including the jigger or chigoe.

British Dictionary definitions for chigoe


Also called chigger, jigger, sand flea. a tropical flea, Tunga penetrans, the female of which lives on or burrows into the skin of its host, which includes man
another name for chigger (sense 1)
Word Origin
C17: from Carib chigo
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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chigoe in Medicine

chigoe chig·oe (chĭg'ō)
A small tropical flea (Tunga penetrans) the fertilized female of which burrows under the skin, frequently under the toenails, causing intense irritation and sores that may become severely infected. Also called , jigger2, sand flea.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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