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[mahr-kee] /mɑrˈki/
a tall rooflike projection above a theater entrance, usually containing the name of a currently featured play or film and its stars.
a rooflike shelter, as of glass, projecting above an outer door and over a sidewalk or a terrace.
Also, marquess, marquise. British. a large tent or tentlike shelter with open sides, especially one for temporary use in outdoor entertainments, receptions, etc.
superlative; headlining:
a marquee basketball player.
Origin of marquee
1680-90; assumed singular of marquise, taken as plural
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for marquee


a large tent used for entertainment, exhibition, etc
(mainly US & Canadian) Also called marquise. a canopy over the entrance to a theatre, hotel, etc
(modifier) (mainly US & Canadian) celebrated or pre-eminent: a 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
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Word Origin and History for marquee

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
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Slang definitions & phrases for marquee



Famous and influential; star; stellar: Sawyer is likely to escalate demands from other marquee names/ When you play a marquee player like Shaquille O'Neal, if you block his shot, you want to let him know


Publicity; hype: That Pasolini was offered these public forums suggests that there was a certain marquee value attached to his name

[late 1980s+; fr the important names featured on a theater marquee]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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