Ker"mes (?), n. [Ar. & Per. girmiz. See Crimson, and cf. Alkermes.]

1. (Zoöl.)

The dried bodies of the females of a scale insect (Coccus ilicis), allied to the cochineal insect, and found on several species of oak near the Mediterranean. 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.]

2. (Bot.)

A small European evergreen oak (Quercus coccifera) on which the kermes insect (Coccus ilicis) feeds. J. Smith (Dict. Econ. Plants).

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.


© Webster 1913

Ker"mes (?), n. (Zoöl.) [NL.]

A genus of scale insects including many species that feed on oaks. The adult female resembles a small gall.


© Webster 1913

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