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Line breaks: flea
Pronunciation: /fliː

Definition of flea in English:


A small wingless jumping insect which 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)
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.


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


(as) fit as a flea

In very good health.
Example sentences
  • She discovered something her legion of fans have always known: when it comes to shaking her booty, the 34-year-old is one hell of a mover and fit as a flea.
  • As fit as a flea, there is no reason why he cannot make a successful transition to turf tomorrow, especially as his rating is significantly lower than the one he is now racing off on the all-weather.
  • Jack's daughter Doris Lyons said: ‘My dad was as fit as a flea.’

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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