1. A square of fine linen worn by women as a covering for the head; hence, anything similar in form or
material, worn for ornament on other parts of the person; mostly used in compounds; as, neckerchief; breastkerchief; and
He might put on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchief, and so escape.Shak.
Her black hair strained awayMrs. Browning.
To a scarlet kerchief caught beneath her chin.
2. A lady who wears a kerchief. Dryden.
(Ker"chiefed, Ker"chieft) a. Dressed; hooded; covered; wearing a kerchief. Milton.
(Kerf) n. [AS. cyrf a cutting off, fr. ceorfan to cut, carve. See Carve.] A notch, channel, or slit
made in any material by cutting or sawing.
(Ke"rite) n. [Gr. ke`ras, horn.] A compound in which tar or asphaltum combined with animal or
vegetable oils is vulcanized by sulphur, the product closely resembling rubber; used principally as an
insulating material in telegraphy. Knight.
(Kerl) n. See Carl.
(Ker"mes) n. [Ar. & Per. girmiz. See Crimson, and cf. Alkermes.]
1. (Zoöl.) The dried bodies of the females of a scale insect 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
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.
(Ker"messe) n. [F.] See Kirmess.
(Kern) n. [Ir. ceatharnach.Cf. Cateran. ]
1. A light-armed foot soldier of the ancient militia of Ireland and Scotland; distinguished from gallowglass,
and often used as a term of contempt. Macaulay.
Now for our Irish wars;Shak.
We must supplant those rough, rug-headed kerns.
2. Any kind of boor or low-lived person. [Obs.] Blount.
3. (O. Eng. Law) An idler; a vagabond. Wharton.
(Kern), n. (Type Founding) A part of the face of a type which projects beyond the body, or shank.
(Kern), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Kerned ; p. pr. & vb. n. Kerning. ] (Type Founding) To form with a
kern. See 2d Kern.
(Kern), n. [See Churn. ] A churn. [Prov. Eng.]
(Kern), n. [AS. cweorn, cwyrn. See Quern. ] A hand mill. See Quern. Johnson.