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1680s, "large tent," from French marquise (mistaken in English as a plural) "linen canopy placed over an officer's tent to distinguish it from others,' " fem. of marquis (see marquis), and perhaps indicating "a place suitable for a marquis." Sense of "canopy over the entrance to a hotel or theater, etc." first recorded 1912 in American English.
Famous and influential; star; stellar: Sawyer is likely to escalate demands from other marquee names/ When you play a marquee player like Shaquille O'Neal, if you block his shot, you want to let him knowmodifier
Publicity; hype: That Pasolini was offered these public forums suggests that there was a certain marquee value attached to his name
[late 1980s+; fr the important names featured on a theater marquee]