Definition of marquis in English:



  • 1(in some European countries) a nobleman ranking above a count and below a duke.

    Compare with marquess
    • ‘The Venetian republic forbade its citizen nobles (those who sat in the Consiglio Maggiore) from assuming titles such as prince, duke, marquis, or count.’
    • ‘For Chambers, the counts, barons, knights, earls and marquises of this island are not only set apart, but are also misunderstood and misrepresented; they remain a shadowy bunch, unknown to the greater part of the population.’
    • ‘Paulina is now faced with having to marry the marquis.’
    • ‘She mumbled briefly, acting the part of a very immature child of eight years, no more and no less; her mother ignored this and prompted Christine to return to a more important topic of conversation: the marquis.’
    • ‘She was the daughter of a marquis, Sir Armand de Calais.’
    • ‘The servants of a duke or marquis had seven rows of curls on their state wigs, six on their house wigs and five on their carriage wigs.’
    • ‘Next came the marquis of Winchester, Lord Treasurer, bearing the orb as he had done for Mary.’
    • ‘The stir created by these exiles was eclipsed in 1824 by the return to the United States of the marquis de Lafayette, an even more eminent Frenchman, after an absence of forty years.’
    • ‘After receiving permission from the duke of Cardona, viceroy of Cataluna, to proceed into Spain, she remained some weeks under the protection of the marquis de los Velez in Zaragoza.’
    • ‘We're all expected to be there, and all the nobles will be there - lords, ladies, counts, viscounts, dukes, duchesses, barons, baronesses, and marquises; all of them.’
    • ‘The painting has hung in the House since the 19th century but the present marquis decided to auction it to raise capital for the 2,000-acre estate.’
    • ‘But from 1385, the establishment of superior titles of duke, marquis, and viscount pushed barons into the lowest rank of the nobility.’
    • ‘Well, technically he is a marquis until his father passes on and the title of duke will be officially his.’
    • ‘But while England had nobles, it did not have a nobility; legally, the son of a duke or marquis could be only a commoner.’
    • ‘Griselde, once again, accepted her fate and protested her love for the marquis, solely requesting her dignity upon exodus from the palace.’
    • ‘One question in a recent local quiz evening was: ‘Which is the higher ranking, an earl or a marquis?’’
    1. 1.1
      another term for marquess
      • ‘This potent coterie contained 100 aristocrats and businessmen (including 6 dukes, 6 marquises, 8 earls, and 17 other peers) along with 23 MPs.’


Middle English: from Old French marchis, reinforced by Old French marquis, both from the base of march.