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;
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.

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 later, handkerchief.

He might put on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchief, and so escape.

Her black hair strained away
To a scarlet kerchief caught beneath her chin.
Mrs. Browning.

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

  By PanEris using Melati.

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