Flea, n. [OE. fle, flee, AS. fle, fleh; akin to D. vtoo, OHG. flh, G. floh, Icel. fl, Russ. blocha; prob. from the root of E. flee. 84. See Flee.] (Zol.) An insect belonging to the genus Pulex, of the order Aphaniptera. Fleas are destitute of wings, but have the power of leaping energetically. The bite is poisonous to most persons. The human flea (Pulex irritans), abundant in Europe, is rare in America, where the dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis, formerly Pulex canis) and the smaller cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) take its place. See Aphaniptera, and Dog flea. See Illustration in Appendix.
A flea in the ear, an unwelcome hint or unexpected reply, annoying like a flea; an irritating repulse; as, to put a flea in one's ear; to go away with a flea in one's ear. --
Black flea, etc. See under Beach, etc.
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