a red dye formerly prepared from the dried bodies of the females of a scale insect, Kermes ilices, which lives on small, evergreen oaks of the Mediterranean region.
the oak itself, of the genus Quercus coccifera.
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How to use kermes in a sentence
In the Middle Ages the dye from the kermes was still called “vermiculata,” of which the word vermilion is a literal translation.Needlework As Art | Marian Alford
The mineral red now called vermilion must have borrowed its name from the insect dye which the Greeks and Romans called “kermes.”Needlework As Art | Marian Alford
The Polish kermes (Coccus polonicus) was formerly used very much in Europe.The Insect World | Louis Figuier
"Grain," therefore, meant a dye of such red as might be produced by the use of kermes or coccum.
After the discovery of America, cochineal having been introduced, began to supersede kermes for all brilliant red dyes.A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines | Andrew Ure
British Dictionary definitions for kermes
the dried bodies of female scale insects of the genus Kermes, esp K. ilices of Europe and W Asia, used as a red dyestuff
a small evergreen Eurasian oak tree, Quercus coccifera, with prickly leaves resembling holly: the host plant of kermes scale insects
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012