\ ˈflē \

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

Through outreach, the home was treated for fleas, and the animal’s health needs were taken care of. Barbara Boyer, Philly.com, "Mayor Kenney supports effort to make Philadelphia a 'no-kill' city to save thousands of animals," 10 Jan. 2018 Stop by the Musée Matisse, shop around Le Cours Saleya's flea, flower, and food market, and be sure to grab a glass of wine (and Instagram) Le Plongeoir, a restaurant perched atop a rock formation in the sea. Condé Nast Traveler, "La Compagnie Flight Deal: Business Class to the French Riviera for $1,200," 4 Dec. 2018 Quality flea-market finds, books, and hand-​carved models of half-hull sailing yachts fill the sitting room. Maria Shollenbarger, ELLE Decor, "An Italian Design Firm Transforms Discreet-but-Luxe Kitchens with a Timeless Florentine Aesthetic," 18 Oct. 2018 Demonte returned regularly to get help with things like flea treatment and nutrition. Joe Robertson And Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "Jeremiah and Demonte, 'just kids,' mourned as victims of gun violence," 27 June 2018 The number of illnesses caused by infected mosquitoes, ticks or fleas tripled from 2004 through 2016, according to a recent report released by the CDC. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "CDC apologizes after 'gross' poppy seed muffin post about ticks goes viral," 8 May 2018 We will be surrounded by the consequences of our actions — thousands of tiny, resistant, evasive cockroaches, bed bugs, lice, houseflies and fleas. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 Flea Beetle Flea beetles are small, dark beetles that jump like fleas when disturbed. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The 10 Most Destructive Garden Insects and How to Get Rid of Them," 10 July 2018 Dogs can then bring infected fleas into the home, while cats can transmit plague directly to humans by coughing infectious droplets into the air. Amanda Macmillan, Health.com, "An Idaho Child Was Diagnosed With the Plague. How Worried Should You Be?," 13 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near flea



fl dr




flea beetle

Statistics for flea

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flea

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

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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 \

Kids Definition of flea

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


\ ˈflē \

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

Comments on flea

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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