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Syllabification: flea
Pronunciation: /flē

Definition of flea in English:


1A small wingless jumping insect that feeds on the blood of mammals and birds. It sometimes transmits diseases through its bite, including plague and myxomatosis.
  • Order Siphonaptera: several families and many species, including the human flea (Pulex irritans) and the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis)
Example sentences
  • Plague mostly affected rodents, but fleas could transmit the disease to people too.
  • Plague is transmitted by fleas that live on rodents.
  • It put poison in his blood that killed fleas after one bite.
1.1 short for flea beetle.
1.2A water flea (see daphnia).


Old English flēa, flēah, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vlo and German Floh.


a flea in one's ear

A sharp reproof: she expected to be sent away with a flea in her ear
More example sentences
  • And if anybody asks when we will be having children they will go away with a flea in their ear.
  • ‘He was sent away with a flea in his ear,’ said one Labour backbencher.
  • A few weeks ago at another tournament in England, such assumptions saw one mouthy opponent dispatched with a flea in his ear.

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