from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small tropical flea (Tunga penetrans), the fertilized female of which burrows under the skin of animals and humans, causing intense irritation and sores that may become severely infected. Also called chigger, jigger2, sand flea.
  • n. See chigger.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small tropical flea, Tunga penetrans, whose females burrow under the skin of animals, including humans, and lay their eggs, causing strong irritation and sores.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A species of flea (Tunga penetrans, formerly Pulex penetrans), common in the West Indies and South America, which often attacks the feet or any exposed part of the human body, and burrowing beneath the skin produces great irritation. When the female is allowed to remain and breed, troublesome sores result, which are sometimes dangerous. See jigger.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A very curious insect of the order Aphaniptera, or fleas, and family Pulicid├Ž, Pulex or sarcopsylla penetrans, closely resembling the common flea, but of more minute size, found in the West Indies and South America.
  • n. A larval harvest-mite, as the so-called Leptus irritans. Same as red-bug and jigger, 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small tropical flea; the fertile female burrows under the skin of the host including humans


Possibly from Galibi chico or of African origin; see jigger2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
from Cariban chico. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.