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marquee

[mahr-kee]
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noun
  1. a tall rooflike projection above a theater entrance, usually containing the name of a currently featured play or film and its stars.
  2. a rooflike shelter, as of glass, projecting above an outer door and over a sidewalk or a terrace.
  3. Also marquess, marquise. British. a large tent or tentlike shelter with open sides, especially one for temporary use in outdoor entertainments, receptions, etc.
adjective
  1. superlative; headlining: a marquee basketball player.

Origin of marquee

1680–90; assumed singular of marquise, taken as plural
Can be confusedmarque marquee marquess marquis marquise
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for marquee

marquee

noun
  1. a large tent used for entertainment, exhibition, etc
  2. Also called: marquise mainly US and Canadian a canopy over the entrance to a theatre, hotel, etc
  3. (modifier) mainly US and Canadian celebrated or pre-eminenta marquee player

Word Origin

C17 (originally an officer's tent): invented singular form of marquise, erroneously taken to be plural
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for marquee

n.

1680s, "large tent," from French marquise (mistaken in English as a plural) "linen canopy placed over an officer's tent to distinguish it from others,' " fem. of marquis (see marquis), and perhaps indicating "a place suitable for a marquis." Sense of "canopy over the entrance to a hotel or theater, etc." first recorded 1912 in American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper