Definition of kermes in English:

kermes

noun

  • 1mass noun A red dye obtained from the crushed dried bodies of a female scale insect, used for colouring fabrics and manuscripts.

    • ‘Traditional red colourings include kermes and cochineal, both of which are pigments made by crushing masses of tiny insects.’
    • ‘In medieval color symbolism, red often connoted sin, but it also indicated wealth, especially in trecento Italy, where woolen cloth dyed in kermes was the most expensive.’
    • ‘Exports from the city of Arcadia included wool, wax, silk, and kermes, destined for Venice via Zakynthos.’
    • ‘Not only dyeing with purpura juice, but also with kermes was common in Homer's day.’
  • 2The scale insect from which kermes is obtained, forming berry-like galls on the kermes oak.

Origin

Late 16th century (denoting the kermes oak): from French kermès, from Arabic qirmiz; related to crimson.

Pronunciation

kermes

/ˈkəːmɪz/