ker·​mes ˈkər-(ˌ)mēz How to pronounce kermes (audio)
: the dried bodies of the females of various scale insects (genus Kermes) that are found on a Mediterranean oak (Quercus coccifera) and constitute a red dyestuff
also : the dye

Word History


French kermès, from Arabic qirmiz

First Known Use

1603, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kermes was in 1603

Dictionary Entries Near kermes

Cite this Entry

“Kermes.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

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