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or kermess, kirmess

[kur-mis] /ˈkɜr mɪs/
(in the Low Countries) a local, annual outdoor fair or festival.
a similar entertainment, usually for charitable purposes.
Origin of kermis
1570-80; < Dutch, earlier ker(c)misse (kerc church + misse Mass); originally a fair at the dedication of a church Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for kermis
Historical Examples
  • In snatches of melody from preceding scenes, she recalls the episode at the kermis, the night in the garden.

  • As soon as I finish making the mannikins for the knitting bags at the kermis.

    The Gorgeous Girl Nalbro Bartley
  • Writing as a foreigner, in no way concerned with the matter, I may express regret that the kermis is not what it was in Holland.

    A Wanderer in Holland E. V. Lucas
  • They see each other at the kermis, or in the street, or fields.

    A Wanderer in Holland E. V. Lucas
  • Very festive is the appearance of a town in the kermis week.

  • On this bier was supposed to rest all that remained of the kermis.

  • As they drew near the city it was easy to see that everybody was going to the kermis, and was thinking of nothing else.

    Our Little Dutch Cousin Blanche McManus
  • It was the kermis or annual fair, and all the world was keeping holiday in Utrecht.

  • The children were looking forward to this with as much pleasure as they had to any feature of the kermis.

    Our Little Dutch Cousin Blanche McManus
  • The Arabs received the kermis from Armenia, and the name was originally “Quer-més,” “oak-apple.”

    Needlework As Art Marian Alford
British Dictionary definitions for kermis


(formerly, esp in Holland and Northern Germany) an annual country festival or carnival
(US & Canadian) a similar event, esp one held to collect money for charity
Word Origin
C16: from Middle Dutch kercmisse, from kerc church + misseMass; originally a festival held to celebrate the dedication of a church
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
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