/cheuhr voh"nits, -nets/; Russ. /chyirdd vaw"nyits/, n., pl. chervontsi /-vohnt"see/; Russ. /-vawn"tsi/.
a former gold coin and monetary unit of the U.S.S.R., equal to ten rubles.
[1920-25; < Russ chervónets, ORuss chervon(n)yi a similar gold coin < Pol czerwony a gold coin, lit., red (appar. because gold of a high purity was thought to have a reddish cast), c. Czech cervený, Serbo-Croatian crven, cr(v)ljen, Bulg chervén < Slavic *crvljen, orig. ptp. of *crviti to dye red, deriv. of *crvi worm, KERMES (Serbo-Croatian crv, Pol czerw, Russ cherv'), a by-form of *crmi; cf. OCS chriminu red; see CRIMSON, VERMILION]

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