The definition of a marquis is a European nobleman below a duke and above an earl or count.
An example of a marquis was the Marquis de Sade, a French aristocrat and writer who was famous for his erotic novels.
nounpl. mar′quises or mar·quis′
in some countries of Europe, a nobleman ranking above an earl or count and below a duke
Origin of marquisMiddle English markis from Old French marchis (later marquis) from Medieval Latin marchisus, prefect of a frontier town from marca, a borderland from Frankish an unverified form marka: see mark
1878-1937; U.S. humorist & journalist
- pl. mar·quis, a. A nobleman ranking below a duke and above an earl or a count.b. Used as a title for such a nobleman.
- pl. mar·quis·es, Variant of marquess
Origin of marquisPartly 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.
(plural marquises or marquis)