\ 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 Many of the hundreds of vendors are Hispanic immigrants, bringing the character of flea markets in their countries to West Valley City. Alixel Cabrera, The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 July 2021 For the past few months, Kelley, a special education teacher who lives in Attleboro, has been traveling to antique stores and flea markets across the region and purchasing batches of decades-old images that have been cast aside and forgotten. BostonGlobe.com, 28 June 2021 Heritage Farms hosts several upscale flea markets over the course of the summer, but no two are alike. Michael Norman, cleveland, 25 June 2021 The order put limits on essential businesses like grocery stores and gas stations but completely shut down all nonessential businesses like flea markets, food vendors and tour companies. Shondiin Silversmith, The Arizona Republic, 12 June 2021 The French designer scouts vintage flea markets for ideas for her stylish pieces, like this colorful signet ring. Jill N Newman, Town & Country, 11 June 2021 While exact collaborations have yet to be decided, Lambert and McGuire envision hosting farmers markets, flea markets, and recording sessions. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, 10 June 2021 Back in 1978, original store owner Gary Walker started selling comics out of his car, at flea markets and more after his son, Greg, became fascinated with Spider-Man. Gabrielle Bunton, The Courier-Journal, 7 June 2021 But the ubiquitous species sold in pet shops and at flea markets is Betta splendens. Annie Roth, Star Tribune, 5 June 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best vacuums for pet hair of 2021.

Learn More About flea

Time Traveler for flea

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near flea

fl dr



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for flea

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flea. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for flea



English Language Learners Definition of flea

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


\ ˈflē How to pronounce flea (audio) \

Kids Definition of flea

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


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on flea

Nglish: Translation of flea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flea for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flea


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!