Unravel the Definition: What Does Marquee Mean?

what does marquee means

When we think of the word “marquee,” we often associate it with the illuminated signboards outside theaters or with large outdoor tents used for events. However, the term is not limited to these applications alone. To truly understand what marquee means, we need to explore its various definitions and its significance in different contexts.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a marquee can be a large tent used for outdoor entertainment, a permanent canopy projecting over an entrance, or an illuminated signboard. It can also refer to a group of top-billed performers in a theatrical or musical production.

Marquees have evolved over time and are now used in multiple settings, from advertising to architecture. Tracing the origin of marquees helps us understand their historical significance and how they have become an integral part of outdoor gatherings and events.

Key Takeaways

  • The meaning of marquee extends beyond illuminated signboards and outdoor tents.
  • Merriam-Webster dictionary defines marquee as a large tent, illuminated signboard, or group of top-billed performers.
  • Marquees have various applications, including advertising and architecture.
  • Understanding the origin of marquees helps us appreciate their historical significance.
  • Marquees have become an integral part of outdoor gatherings and events.

Understanding the Marquee Concept

When it comes to understanding the term “marquee,” it’s important to explore the various synonyms and antonyms associated with it. Synonyms for marquee include canopy, tent, awning, and pavilion, while antonyms include bareness, openness, and plainness.

To further illustrate the concept of marquees, here are some real-life examples:

  • A wedding reception may feature a marquee tent for guests to dine and dance in.
  • A music festival may have multiple marquees set up for different performers or activities.
  • A company may use a marquee as part of their trade show booth to showcase their products or services.
  • A restaurant with outdoor seating may have a marquee canopy to provide shade and protection from the elements.

By understanding the various synonyms, antonyms, and examples associated with marquees, it becomes clear that it is a versatile concept with many different applications.

The Versatility of Marquees

Marquees have a wide range of applications, making them one of the most versatile structures for outdoor events. They can be used for weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, festivals, and exhibitions, among other events.

Marquees provide a flexible alternative to traditional indoor venues, allowing for easy customization of the space to suit the event’s theme and requirements. With marquees, you can choose the size, layout, and position to create a unique atmosphere.

In addition to their use in events, marquees are also used in advertising and architecture. Companies can use marquees to showcase their brand in high-traffic areas, while architects use marquees to create functional outdoor spaces that add aesthetic value to buildings.

Marquees are popular in the film industry for movie premieres, providing a VIP entrance for celebrities and adding to the glitz and glamour of the event. They are also commonly used in sports events, such as tennis and golf tournaments, providing shade to spectators and creating a focal point for the event.

Moreover, marquees are suitable for emergency situations, such as medical tents and disaster relief centers. They provide an easily accessible, weatherproof space to offer aid during critical times.


Marquees offer a versatile solution for outdoor events and have become a staple in various industries due to their flexibility and functionality. Their applications range from weddings and festivals to advertising and architecture, and even emergency response situations. Their usefulness and versatility make them a valuable addition to any outdoor event or project.

Tracing the Origin of Marquees

The origin of the word “marquee” can be traced back to the French word “marquise,” which means a tent or temporary shelter with its top rounded or pointed. The term made its way to England in the 17th century, where it was used to describe a large tent used for social gatherings and outdoor events.

Marquees were primarily used by the wealthy for their outdoor parties and celebrations. They were often erected in the gardens of their estates and adorned with lavish decorations and furnishings. However, marquees were also used for military purposes, as temporary shelters for troops during wars and battles.

As marquees became more popular, they evolved to incorporate new materials such as canvas and PVC, making them more durable and weather-resistant. Today, marquees are used for a variety of events such as weddings, trade shows, corporate events, and festivals.

Notable Marquees

One of the most famous marquees is the Royal Opera House Marquee in London. It was designed by architect Norman Foster and reflects the elegant and grandeur of the Royal Opera House. Another notable marquee is the Cirque du Soleil grand chapiteau, which can seat up to 2,500 people and travels around the world for performances.

Over time, marquees have become an integral part of outdoor gatherings and events, providing shelter and creating a unique atmosphere. From their humble beginnings as temporary shelters to the grand structures seen today, marquees have come a long way and remain a popular choice for event organizers and attendees alike.

The Pronunciation of Marquee

Now that we’ve explored the definition and various applications of marquee, let’s move on to its pronunciation.

The correct pronunciation of marquee is “mahr-kee.” The stress is on the first syllable, with a long “a” sound and a rolling “r.”

The Common Mispronunciation of Marquee

It’s not uncommon to hear the term pronounced as “mar-kwee” or “mar-kay” among some individuals. However, these pronunciations are incorrect and can lead to confusion in some situations.

It’s essential to note the correct pronunciation to avoid any miscommunications when discussing marquees at events or business meetings.

The Importance of Pronouncing Marquee Correctly

Correctly pronouncing marquee demonstrates a level of professionalism and expertise in the industry. It shows that you understand the terminology and have taken the time to learn the proper pronunciation.

Additionally, when presenting to a larger group, using the correct pronunciation enhances your credibility and gives assurance to your audience.

In conclusion, understanding the pronunciation of marquee is vital for anyone working in an industry that utilizes these structures. By correctly pronouncing the term, you show professionalism and expertise, and avoid any miscommunications in discussions related to marquees.


Q: What does the term “marquee” mean?

A: The term “marquee” refers to a large tent-like structure often used for events or as a covered entrance to a building.

Q: What are some synonyms and antonyms for “marquee”?

A: Synonyms for “marquee” include canopy, pavilion, and awning. Antonyms include bare and exposed.

Q: Can you provide examples of how “marquee” is used?

A: “Marquee” can be used in sentences like “The marquee provided shelter from the rain during the outdoor concert” or “The theater’s marquee displayed the names of the upcoming shows.”

Q: In what industries are marquees commonly used?

A: Marquees are commonly used in the events and entertainment industry, as well as in advertising and architecture.

Q: What is the historical origin of marquees?

A: Marquees have a long history and are believed to have originated from large military tents used by high-ranking officials. Over time, they evolved into the structures we know today.

Q: How is “marquee” pronounced?

A: “Marquee” is pronounced as mar-kee.

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