flea

[ flee ]
/ fli /

noun

any of numerous small, wingless bloodsucking insects of the order Siphonaptera, parasitic upon mammals and birds and noted for their ability to leap.
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.
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

    flea in one's ear,
    1. a disconcerting rebuke or rebuff: The next time he shows his face around here he'll get a flea in his ear.
    2. a broad hint.

Origin of flea

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

Can be confused

flea flee
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flea

British Dictionary definitions for flea

flea

/ (fliː) /

noun

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
any of various invertebrates that resemble fleas, such as the water flea and flea beetle
flea in one's ear informal a sharp rebuke

Word Origin for 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

Medicine definitions for flea

flea

[ flē ]

n.

Any of various small, wingless, bloodsucking insects of the order Siphonaptera that have legs adapted for jumping and are parasitic in the hair and feathers of warm-blooded animals.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with flea

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.