We developed a silicon MEMS probe for permittivity measurements using an adhesive bonding process. Only two photolithographic masks are required to fabricate the probe, which can be implemented through simple bonding processes using silicon substrates and a benzo cyclo butene (BCB) adhesive layer. Undoped silicon substrates with thicknesses of 300 νm are used as the dielectric layers of the proposed probe. BCB layers, which have good electrical properties at high frequencies as well as adhesive properties for the bonding process, play the role of bonding materials between the two silicon substrates. The length of the probe is 30 mm, and the aperture located at the tip of the probe is 1.1 mm × 0.62 mm. The permittivity of 0.5% saline was measured, and the results agreed with the values obtained through the Cole-Cole equation. To validate the feasibility of this probe for practical biological applications, we also performed in vivo measurements of the muscle, skin and blood of mice. Due to the simple fabrication process, the cost of the probe can be reduced in comparison with the previous micromachined probe (Kim et al 2005 J. Micromech. Microeng. 15 543-50) as well as the conventional laser machined probe. Low cost leads to disposability, which is an important factor for practical biomedical applications; and thus, coupled with the probe's capabilities of MMIC integration and CMOS compatibility, this probe has excellent potential in the field of microwave permittivity measurements.