Alkermes – Definition & Meaning


Alkermes is a term that is not commonly used in everyday language. However, it has a rich history and is still used in certain contexts. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of alkermes, its origin, and its associations.


Alkermes is a type of liqueur that is made by infusing sugar, cinnamon, and other spices into a base of neutral spirit. It is typically bright red in color and has a sweet, spicy flavor. Alkermes is often used in Italian desserts, such as the classic zuppa inglese.
In addition to its use as a liqueur, alkermes is also a term used in the field of pharmacology. It refers to a type of drug delivery system that is designed to release medication slowly over an extended period of time.


The word alkermes has its roots in Arabic, where it was known as al-qirmiz. This term referred to a type of dye that was made from the bodies of female insects. The dye was highly prized for its brilliant red color and was used to color fabrics and other materials.
When the Moors invaded Spain in the 8th century, they brought the art of dye-making with them. Over time, the word al-qirmiz was adapted into the Spanish word kermes, which was later anglicized to the word crimson. The Italian word for crimson is cremisi, which is where the word alkermes comes from.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of alkermes varies depending on the dictionary you consult. In the Oxford English Dictionary, alkermes is defined as “a red-colored liqueur made from cinnamon, cloves, and sugar, originally used in medicine.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “a bright red liqueur flavored with cinnamon and cloves.”
In the field of pharmacology, alkermes refers to a type of drug delivery system that is designed to release medication slowly over an extended period of time. This definition can be found in medical dictionaries such as Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary.


Alkermes is often associated with Italian cuisine and is a key ingredient in many traditional desserts. It is also associated with the field of pharmacology and is used in the development of certain types of drugs.
In addition, alkermes has a long history and is associated with the art of dye-making. The use of kermes dye dates back to ancient times and was highly prized for its vibrant color.


There are several synonyms for alkermes, including:

  • Cremisi.
  • Crimson.
  • Red liqueur.
  • Spiced liqueur.


There are no true antonyms for alkermes, as it is a specific term that refers to a type of liqueur and drug delivery system.

The same root words

The root word of alkermes is kermes, which is derived from the Arabic word al-qirmiz. Other words that share this root include:

  • Carmine.
  • Vermilion.
  • Scarlet.

Example Sentences

  • I added a splash of alkermes to my tiramisu for an extra kick of flavor.
  • The medication was delivered using an alkermes drug delivery system.
  • The dye used to color the fabric was made from kermes insects.

Alkermes is a term that has its roots in the ancient art of dye-making. Today, it is primarily associated with Italian cuisine and the field of pharmacology. Whether you are enjoying a slice of zuppa inglese or discussing drug delivery systems, understanding the definition and meaning of alkermes can add depth and richness to your conversations.

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