from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- adjective Having a swarthy or black complexion and black hair.
from The Century Dictionary.
- Dark-complexioned; brunette: the opposite of
blond or xanthous. Pritchard.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
But now that he's got the job, he has to perform or become the old token "black" of that era -- whose most important qualification was that he was sufficiently "melanous" -- if you know what I mean -- to fill corporate affirmative action guidelines.
The change from the _xanthous_ to the _melanous_ complexion, is a circumstance of constant occurrence; there are few children born, whose complexion does not darken as they grow up, in many cases undergoing a total change: the passage from dark to fair is rare, but it constantly occurs that _xanthous_, or even _leucous_ children, are born of
To the different characters of human complexion, Dr Prichard gives three distinctive terms -- the _melanous_ or brunette; the _xanthous_ or blonde; and the _leucous_ or albino; the _melanous_ predominating in the southern countries, the _xanthous_ in the northern.
South Sea Islands being very generally _melanous_.