[ flee ]
See synonyms for flea on Thesaurus.com
  1. any of numerous small, wingless bloodsucking insects of the order Siphonaptera, parasitic upon mammals and birds and noted for their ability to leap.

  2. either of two common fleas of the genus Ctenocephalides, the very small, black C. felis(cat flea ) or the similar but larger C. canis(dog flea ), both of which infest cats, dogs, and occasionally humans.

  1. any of various small beetles and crustaceans that leap like a flea or swim in a jumpy manner, as the water flea and beach flea.

Idioms about flea

  1. flea in one's ear,

    • a disconcerting rebuke or rebuff: The next time he shows his face around here he'll get a flea in his ear.

    • a broad hint.

Origin of flea

before 900; Middle English fle,Old English flēah, flēa; cognate with German Floh; akin to flee

Words that may be confused with flea

Words Nearby flea

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use flea in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for flea


/ (fliː) /

  1. any small wingless parasitic blood-sucking insect of the order Siphonaptera, living on the skin of mammals and birds and noted for its power of leaping

  2. any of various invertebrates that resemble fleas, such as the water flea and flea beetle

  1. flea in one's ear informal a sharp rebuke

Origin of flea

Old English flēah; related to Old Norse flō, Old High German flōh

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with flea


In addition to the idioms beginning with flea

  • flea in one's ear, a
  • flea market

also see:

  • hurt a fly (flea)

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.