Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An outdoor fair in the Low Countries.
  • noun A fundraising fair or carnival.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Alternative form of kirmess.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Dutch, from Middle Dutch kercmisse, Mass on the anniversary of a church dedication (on which day was held a yearly fair) : kerc, church (ultimately from Late Greek kūriakon, kūrikon (dōma), (house) of the lord; see church) + misse, Mass (from Late Latin missa; see Mass).]

Examples

  • African might and did obtain a freehold; while the Negro who remained under an institution of patriarchal simplicity, scarcely knowing he was in bondage, danced merrily at the best, in "kermis," at Christmas and Pinckster. [

    History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens

  • Yesterday one of the secretaries asked one of the Dutch PhD students, in Dutch, what the English word for kermis was, and I immediately said “carnival”.

    2007 July « The expat numbat: from AU to NL

  • Yesterday one of the secretaries asked one of the Dutch PhD students, in Dutch, what the English word for kermis was, and I immediately said “carnival”.

    Fair vs. carnival « The expat numbat: from AU to NL

  • In Eindhoven, the kermis Park Hilaria was on the street bordering the uni here.

    Almost end of summer « The expat numbat: from AU to NL

  • They spent a riotous afternoon; there was a small kermis, a fair, tucked away behind the main street and the three of them tried each one of its attractions, and when they were tired of that, wandered round the booths.

    Grasp A Nettle

  • Returning to Middelburg from Flushing one evening, in the steam-tram, we found ourselves in a compartment filled with happy country people, most of them making for the kermis, then in full swing in the Middelburg market place.

    A Wanderer in Holland

  • The Middelburg kermis is a particularly merry one.

    A Wanderer in Holland

  • The lad takes his girl about everywhere; they go to the _kermis_, skate, and amuse themselves, and no one troubles or inquires about them.

    A Wanderer in Holland

  • Flushing does little to amuse its visitors after the sun has left the sea; and we were very glad of the excuse offered by the Middelburg kermis to return to our inland city each afternoon.

    A Wanderer in Holland

  • It was very late at night when we went to rest in a kermis bed, as it is called, [118] in the corner of the hearth, along side of a good fire.

    Journal of Jasper Danckaerts, 1679-1680

Comments

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  • The Dutch boy who covets her kiss

    Must patiently defer his bliss

    Until annual revels

    Unleash the devils

    When all is allowed at kermis.

    July 6, 2015