flea

noun
\ ˈflē How to pronounce flea (audio) \

Definition of flea

: any of an order (Siphonaptera) of small wingless bloodsucking insects that have a hard laterally compressed body and legs adapted to leaping and that feed on warm-blooded animals
flea in one's ear
: rebuke sent him away with a flea in his ear

Illustration of flea

Illustration of flea

Examples of flea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After part of the prairie dog colony in the Aubrey Valley was dusted with an insecticide that wipes out plague-carrying fleas, that particular area seemed to have a higher density of prairie dogs, according to Cordova. Elizabeth Miller/undark, Popular Science, "The race to save the most elusive ferret in the U.S.," 11 Jan. 2020 After part of the prairie dog colony in the Aubrey Valley was dusted with an insecticide that wipes out plague-carrying fleas, that particular area seemed to have a higher density of prairie dogs, according to Cordova. Elizabeth Miller, Scientific American, "Why Are America’s Black-Footed Ferrets Disappearing?," 9 Jan. 2020 The bubonic plague usually comes from the result of an infected flea bite. Tim Darnell, ajc, "Black death plague reappears in China," 15 Nov. 2019 Two years later, the quarterback executed a tone-setting flea flicker, launching a pass to Plaxico Burress that covered 68 yards in a 34-31 victory over the Wolverines. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's shadow once was annoying enough to drive Nick Saban away," 31 Dec. 2019 Then, on their second possession, Isaiah Ford ran for 11 yards after abandoning a flea flicker. BostonGlobe.com, "So much for the idea Patriots would surge into the postseason - The Boston Globe," 31 Dec. 2019 Contrast that with the very first play Kelly as head coach/play-caller in 2010 called for the then-freshman backup QB Rees: A flea-flicker. Eric Hansen, Indianapolis Star, "Analysis: Will Brian Kelly's next step match up with his growing aspirations for Notre Dame?," 30 Dec. 2019 The animals were infested with fleas, severely matted and found living in their own feces and urine. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "24 animals rescued from 'horrific conditions' after elderly woman falls and calls police for help," 15 Nov. 2019 This mile-long ‘flea market’ opened early every Sunday. Bulletin Board, Twin Cities, "Sunday Bulletin Board: All he wanted for Christmas was a little red trike, a little red trike, a little red trike . . .," 8 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flea.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of flea

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flea

Middle English fle, from Old English flēa; akin to Old High German flōh flea

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Time Traveler for flea

Time Traveler

The first known use of flea was before the 12th century

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Statistics for flea

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flea.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flea. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for flea

flea

noun
How to pronounce flea (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of flea

: a very small insect that lives on animals and that has strong legs used for jumping

flea

noun
\ ˈflē How to pronounce flea (audio) \

Kids Definition of flea

: a small bloodsucking insect that has no wings and a hard body

flea

noun
\ ˈflē How to pronounce flea (audio) \

Medical Definition of flea

: any of the order Siphonaptera comprising wingless bloodsucking insects that have a hard laterally compressed body and legs adapted to leaping and that feed on warm-blooded animals — see cat flea, chigoe sense 1, dog flea, rat flea, sand flea, sticktight flea

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More from Merriam-Webster on flea

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flea

Spanish Central: Translation of flea

Nglish: Translation of flea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flea for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flea

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