- 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
Examples from the Web for flea
And it all began with a young model rooting through Paris flea markets to find something that made her feel good.
I grew up in New York and there was a Caldor that had a Sunday flea market.
Six months after he arrived in Paris, he found another high-wheeled bicycle in a flea market and bought that too.Pryor Dodge's Two-Wheeled Obsession Is Now a Museum of Bike History|Anthony Haden-Guest|September 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A flea, Xenopsylla cheopis, from an infected little mammal—usually a rat—can hop from the dying rat onto a human and bite it.It’s Not Time to Worry About China’s Plague Just Yet|Kent Sepkowitz|July 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Some kind of fly, gnit, gnat, tick or flea of some kind...the desert kind.Marine First Lieutenant Nathan Krissoff’s Last Letters Home From Iraq|Matt Pottinger|May 26, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The accompanying cut represents in part the head of a flea, and is annexed in order to give a specimen of a simple eye.The Life of an Insect|Anonymous
Rogers used to say that a man who attempts to read all the new publications must often do as the flea does—skip.The Jest Book|Mark Lemon
It is superfluous to add that the flea is as common as the dog, and as indifferent also to the peace of the stranger.The Old World and Its Ways|William Jennings Bryan
Welcome horse-hair vests, sacking sheets, and the “bitter bite of the flea,”—sad entertainment for gentlemen!Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln|Charles L. Marson
Horace gently took the girl's hands in his, and Flea lowered her sun-browned face.From the Valley of the Missing|Grace Miller White
British Dictionary definitions for flea
Word Origin for flea
Word Origin and History for flea
Old English flea, from Proto-Germanic *flauhaz (cf. Old Norse flo, Middle Dutch vlo, German Floh), perhaps related to Old English fleon "to flee," with a notion of "the jumping parasite," or perhaps from PIE *plou- "flea" (cf. Latin pulex, Greek psylla; see puce).
Flea-bag "bed" is from 1839; flea circus is from 1886; flea collar is from 1953.
"A man named 'Mueller' put on the first trained-flea circus in America at the old Stone and Austin museum in Boston nearly forty years ago. Another German named 'Auvershleg' had the first traveling flea circus in this country thirty years ago. In addition to fairs and museums, I get as high as $25 for a private exhibition." ["Professor" William Heckler, quoted in "Popular Mechanics," February 1928. Printed at the top of his programs were "Every action is visible to the naked eye" and "No danger of desertion."]
Medicine definitions for flea
Idioms and Phrases with flea
In addition to the idioms beginning with flea
- flea in one's ear, a
- flea market
- hurt a fly (flea)