Kermes Ker"mes, n. [Ar. & Per. girmiz. See {Crimson}, and cf. {Alkermes}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) The dried bodies of the females of a scale insect ({Kermes ilices} formerly {Coccus ilicis}), allied to the cochineal insect, and found on several species of oak near the Mediterranean; also, the dye obtained from them. They are round, about the size of a pea, contain coloring matter analogous to carmine, and are used in dyeing. They were anciently thought to be of a vegetable nature, and were used in medicine. [Written also {chermes}.] [1913 Webster]

2. (Bot.) A small European evergreen oak ({Quercus coccifera}) on which the kermes insect ({Kermes ilices}, formerly {Coccus ilicis}) feeds. --J. Smith (Dict. Econ. Plants). [1913 Webster]

3. (Zo["o]l.) [NL.] A genus of scale insects including many species that feed on oaks. The adult female resembles a small gall. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

{Kermes mineral}. (a) (Old Chem.) An artificial amorphous trisulphide of antimony; -- so called on account of its red color. (b) (Med. Chem.) A compound of the trioxide and trisulphide of antimony, used in medicine. This substance occurs in nature as the mineral {kermesite}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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