flea ear

flea

[flee]
noun
1.
any of numerous small, wingless bloodsucking insects of the order Siphonaptera, parasitic upon mammals and birds and noted for their ability to leap.
2.
either of two common fleas of the genus Ctenocephalides, the very small, black C. felis (cat flea) or the similar but larger C. canis (dog flea) both of which infest cats, dogs, and occasionally humans.
3.
any of various small beetles and crustaceans that leap like a flea or swim in a jumpy manner, as the water flea and beach flea.
Idioms
4.
flea in one's ear,
a.
a disconcerting rebuke or rebuff: The next time he shows his face around here he'll get a flea in his ear.
b.
a broad hint.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English fle, Old English flēah, flēa; cognate with German Floh; akin to flee

flea, flee.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
flea (fliː)
 
n
1.  any small wingless parasitic blood-sucking insect of the order Siphonaptera, living on the skin of mammals and birds and noted for its power of leaping
2.  any of various invertebrates that resemble fleas, such as the water flea and flea beetle
3.  informal flea in one's ear a sharp rebuke
 
[Old English flēah; related to Old Norse flō, Old High German flōh]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

flea
O.E. fleah, from P.Gmc. *flaukh- (cf. O.N. flo, M.Du. vlo, Ger. floh), perhaps related to O.E. fleon "to flee," with a notion of "the jumping parasite."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

flea (flē)
n.
Any of various small, wingless, bloodsucking insects of the order Siphonaptera that have legs adapted for jumping and are parasitic in the hair and feathers of warm-blooded animals.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Flea definition


David at the cave of Adullam thus addressed his persecutor Saul (1 Sam. 24:14): "After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea?" He thus speaks of himself as the poor, contemptible object of the monarch's pursuit, a "worthy object truly for an expedition of the king of Israel with his picked troops!" This insect is in Eastern language the popular emblem of insignificance. In 1 Sam. 26:20 the LXX. read "come out to seek my life" instead of "to seek a flea."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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