a tall rooflike projection above a theater entrance, usually containing the name of a currently featured play or film and its stars.
a rooflike shelter, as of glass, projecting above an outer door and over a sidewalk or a terrace.
Also, marquess, marquise. British. a large tent or tentlike shelter with open sides, especially one for temporary use in outdoor entertainments, receptions, etc.
superlative; headlining: a marquee basketball player.

1680–90; assumed singular of marquise, taken as plural

marque, marquee, marquess, marquis, marquise. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
marquee (mɑːˈkiː)
1.  a large tent used for entertainment, exhibition, etc
2.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) Also called: marquise a canopy over the entrance to a theatre, hotel, etc
3.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) (modifier) celebrated or pre-eminent: a marquee player
[C17 (originally an officer's tent): invented singular form of marquise, erroneously taken to be plural]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1690, "large tent," from Fr. marquise (mistaken in Eng. as a plural) "linen canopy placed over an officer's tent to distinguish it from others'," lit. fem. of marquis, perhaps indicating "a place suitable for a marquis." Sense of "canopy over the entrance to a hotel or theater, etc." first recorded 1934
in Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Now, the managers of some marquee companies are aiming to make this concession
The season of the darkened marquee is suddenly becoming the season of the
  booking bonanza.
The university also sported a marquee basketball program that galvanized fan
  support in a state with no professional teams.
Symmetrical wings flank a grand pavilion and arched entryway with a marquee.
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