Definition of kermes in English:

kermes

noun

  • 1A red dye used, especially formerly, for coloring fabrics and manuscripts.

    • ‘Traditional red colourings include kermes and cochineal, both of which are pigments made by crushing masses of tiny insects.’
    • ‘Exports from the city of Arcadia included wool, wax, silk, and kermes, destined for Venice via Zakynthos.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Not only dyeing with purpura juice, but also with kermes was common in Homer's day.’
    1. 1.1 The dried bodies of a female scale insect, which are crushed to yield this dye.
  • 2The scale insect from which kermes is obtained, forming berrylike galls on the kermes oak.

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

kermes

/ˈkermēz/