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.

    • ‘Fleas spread the bacteria between cats, although there is no evidence that fleas can transmit the disease to humans.’
    • ‘When rats die from the plague, the fleas that lived on them must seek out new sources of blood.’
    • ‘If you have been bitten by fleas, mites, or bedbugs you may have an infestation in your home, such as on one or more of your pets, and should try to find the infestation and get rid of it.’
    • ‘Lice are wingless and they cannot jump, unlike fleas, but instead they spread through physical contact.’
    • ‘In 2002, two Gardai sued the state after being bitten by fleas in Garda stations.’
    • ‘We wished to avoid the constant and real threat of bedbugs, fleas, and other insect pests which we had brought home in our bags, topclothing, and soiled linens.’
    • ‘The disease is passed onto humans through fleas which jump from the rat when it dies.’
    • ‘This parcel contained the fleas that caused the plague.’
    • ‘Plague is transmitted by fleas that live on rodents.’
    • ‘As he walked around the lounge his boots stuck to the floor and he became aware that he was being bitten by fleas.’
    • ‘It put poison in his blood that killed fleas after one bite.’
    • ‘Unlike fleas, lice can't jump from person to person.’
    • ‘He said that fleas can jump over two hundred times their own height.’
    • ‘In the end, I obeyed and fell into a comfortable sleep, ignoring the fleas that were jumping around me.’
    • ‘Plague mostly affected rodents, but fleas could transmit the disease to people too.’
    • ‘Many things can lead to these hot spots including food and airborne allergens, ticks, fleas and other insect bites, and contact allergens like grass.’
    • ‘In some cases we have learned that an insect can cause harm, such as when we're bitten by a flea or mosquito.’
    • ‘It is passed from bunny to bunny by biting insects such as the flea and mosquito so prevention of these is important.’
    • ‘They're so plagued by lice, fleas, dander and mange that their coats are spotted with huge bald patches and pocked with weeping sores.’
    • ‘Imagine my horror when I had invited the parents of a Japanese student staying with me and we were all bitten by fleas!’
    insect, flea, mite, midge
    View synonyms


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