Kermes definition

kûrmēz
A red dyestuff once prepared from the dried bodies of various female scale insects of the genus Kermes.
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The dried bodies of the females of certain soft scale insects (genus Kermes), used for making a purple-red dye.
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This dye.
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A small, evergreen Mediterranean oak (Quercus coccifera) on which the kermes insects are found.
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A taxonomic genus within the family Kermesidae — the kermes insects.
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Alternative Forms

Alternative Form of kermes - chermes

Origin of kermes

  • French kermès short for alkermès from Arabic al-qirmiz the kermes probably from Sanskrit kṛmi-ja- (red dye) produced by worms kwr̥mi- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition