Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A nobleman ranking below a duke and above an earl or a count.
  • noun Used as a title for such a nobleman.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In Great Britain and France, and in other countries where corresponding titles exist, a nobleman whose rank is intermediate between that of an earl or count and that of a duke.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A nobleman in England, France, and Germany, of a rank next below that of duke. Originally, the marquis was an officer whose duty was to guard the marches or frontiers of the kingdom. The office has ceased, and the name is now a mere title conferred by patent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A nobleman in England, France, and Germany, of a rank next below that of duke, but above a count. Originally, the marquis was an officer whose duty was to guard the marches or frontiers of the kingdom. The office has ceased, and the name is now a mere title conferred by patent.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun nobleman (in various countries) ranking above a count
  • noun humorist who wrote about the imaginary life of cockroaches (1878-1937)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Partly from French marquis and partly from Middle English marques, both from Old French marquis, marchis, from marche, border country, of Germanic origin; see merg- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French: marquis; Old French: markis, marchis; Late Latin: marchensis; Old High German: marcha. Frankish *marka, from Proto-Germanic *markō, from Proto-Indo-European *mereg- (“edge, boundary”).

Examples

  • Days he lived in concealment, and after the second Restoration obtained the title marquis, and in 1819 introduced a motion in the chamber of peers tending to render the electoral law more aristocratic.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 "Banks" to "Bassoon"

  • As a last resort he called the marquis to him, and, while a tear stood on his rough cheek, drew a handful of money from his pocket.

    Not Pretty, but Precious

  • I have met a certain French marquis, who is attached to the Count de Moustier's embassy.

    The Maid of Maiden Lane

  • Frederick went to his room to seek his note-book, and place his letters upon the table, but, before he returned, he called the marquis to him.

    Frederick the Great and His Family

  • "Basically, I became a marchioness because I married a marquis," she says patiently, "and a marquis is the son of a duke."

    Saturday Conversation: The Marchioness of Worcester

  • The marquis was a fine sportsman and competed in the last London Olympic Games in 1948 when representing Italy at polo.

    Tattenham Corner

  • "A marquis was a rank something like Orminy," said Sade.

    Asimov's Science Fiction

  • The Florentines recalled the marquis of Ferrara, and engaged the marquis of Mantua; they also as earnestly requested the Venetians to send them Count Carlo, son of

    The History of Florence

  • According to Lafayette in his Mémoires, Clinton was so sure of his success in advance that he invited a number of ladies and gentlemen to a party in Philadelphia where the marquis was to be the featured guest.

    Angel in the Whirlwind

  • According to Lafayette in his Mémoires, Clinton was so sure of his success in advance that he invited a number of ladies and gentlemen to a party in Philadelphia where the marquis was to be the featured guest.

    Angel in the Whirlwind

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