• synonyms

water flea

  1. any of various small crustaceans that move about in the water like fleas, as those of the genus Daphnia.
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Origin of water flea

First recorded in 1575–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for water flea

Historical Examples

  • In short, she was a branchiopod, to be vulgarly precise, a water-flea.

    "Wee Tim'rous Beasties"

    Douglas English

  • I have already spoken of the fresh-water shrimp and the water-flea (Daphnia pulex).

    Amateur Fish Culture

    Charles Edward Walker

  • The water-flea, Daphnia (a crustacean), lays two kinds of eggs known as “summer” and “winter” eggs.

British Dictionary definitions for water flea

water flea

  1. any of numerous minute freshwater branchiopod crustaceans of the order Cladocera, which swim by means of hairy branched antennaeSee also daphnia
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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