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.
pl. 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)