1. A rooflike structure, often bearing a signboard, projecting over an entrance, as to a theater or hotel. Also called marquise.
2. A large tent, often with open sides, used chiefly for outdoor entertainment.
Exceptionally popular or skilled: The team is hoping to sign a marquee player.
[Early Modern English, large tent with open sides, back-formation from French marquise, marquise (probably with final (z)-sound taken in English as the English plural ending -s), from marquise, marchioness (also used attributively to describe things considered splendid or elegant), feminine of marquis, marquis; see MARQUISE.]
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The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.