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I'm looking a singular word that implies the archetype of "tall dark and handsome". The origin of the word would also help-- I've seen a lot of responses, here and on Google, referencing "The Story of Hester Malpas," but that's not what I'm thinking of. I was once told there was a word that meant that, and it was derived from the first use of the character type, and now I'm totally blanking on it the night before an essay on a character that totally embodies that.

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    What, like a hunk? Can you clarify what type of word you're looking for by adding an example sentence? – Laurel Sep 5 '17 at 2:55
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    I don't think there is any definitive "first use" of the stereotype. It was a fortune telling cliché long before romantic literature was a thing ("you will meet a tall, dark stranger", etc.). Some of the precursors of today's stereotypical romantic hero might be the Byronic Hero, Austen's Mr. Darcy, and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights... – filistinist Sep 5 '17 at 6:39
  • Perhaps you are thinking of Adonis? Don't think this is the archetype for tall, dark and handsome, but there is some conceptual overlap. – Yorik Sep 5 '17 at 14:45
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The 'Byronic Hero', while not a singular word, is definitely the right kind of area. Examples include:

  • Heathcliff: "A half-civilized ferocity lurked yet in the depressed brows and eyes full of black fire, but it was subdued; and his manner was even dignified: quite divested of roughness, though stern for grace..." (Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte, Ch. 10)
  • Satan: "Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanced, Came towering, armed in adamant and gold..." (Paradise Lost, John Milton, Book VI)

If that's not quite right, a one-word phrase that might be helpful for you is "antihero". There's a definition here (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/anti-hero), for starters.

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