Etymology
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thanato- 

before vowels thanat-, word-forming element meaning "death," from Greek thanatos "death," from PIE *dhwene- "to disappear, die," perhaps from a root meaning "dark, cloudy" (compare Sanskrit dhvantah "dark"). Hence Bryant's "Thanatopsis", with Greek opsis "a sight, view."

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oolong (n.)

dark variety of Chinese tea, 1844, from Chinese wu-lung, literally "black dragon."

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port-wine (n.)

"dark red wine, port," 1700, from port (n.5) + wine (n.).

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vervain (n.)

herbaceous plant much valued medicinally in Middle Ages, late 14c., from Old French verveine (13c.), from Latin verbena (see verbena).

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lightless (adj.)

Old English leohtleas "dark, receiving no light;" see light (n.) + -less.

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swart (adj.)

Old English sweart "black, dark," of night, clouds, also figurative, "wicked, infamous," from Proto-Germanic *swarta- (source also of Old Frisian, Old Saxon, and Middle Dutch swart, Dutch zwart, Old Norse svartr, German schwarz, Gothic swarts "dark-colored, black"), from PIE root *swordo- "dirty, dark, black" (source of sordid). The true Germanic word, surviving in the Continental languages but displaced in English by black. Of skin color of persons from late 14c. Related: Swartest.

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perch (n.2)

common spiny-finned freshwater fish, c. 1300, perche, from Old French perche, from Latin perca "perch," from Greek perkē "a perch," from perknos "spotted, having dark spots," from PIE root *perk- "speckled, spotted" (source also of Sanskrit prsnih "speckled, variegated;" Greek perkazein "to become dark"), typically in names of animals; compare Middle Irish erc, Welsh erch "spotted, dark red; salmon, trout," also "cow, lizard;" Old High German forhana, Old English forne "trout."

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blackamoor (n.)

"dark-skinned person, black-skinned African," 1540s, from black (adj.) + Moor, with connecting element.

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dusk (n.)

"partial darkness, state between light and darkness, twilight," 1620s, from an earlier adjective dusk, from Middle English dosc (c. 1200) "obscure, not bright; tending to darkness, shadowy," having more to do with color than light, which is of uncertain origin, not found in Old English. Middle English also had it as a verb, dusken "to become dark." The Middle English noun was dusknesse "darkness" (late 14c.).

Perhaps it is from a Northumbrian variant of Old English dox "dark-haired, dark from the absence of light," with transposition of -k- and -s-, (compare colloquial ax for ask). But OED notes that "few of our words in -sk are of OE origin." Old English dox is from PIE *dus-ko- "dark-colored" (source also of Swedish duska "be misty," Latin fuscus "dark," Sanskrit dhusarah "dust-colored;" also compare Old English dosan "chestnut-brown," Old Saxon dosan, Old High German tusin "pale yellow").

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swarthy (adj.)

"dark-colored," especially of skin, 1580s, unexplained alteration of swarty (1570s), from swart + -y (2). Related: Swarthiness.

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