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(in various countries) a nobleman ranking above a count, corresponding to a British marquess. The title of marquis is often used in place of that of marquess


Don(ald Robert Perry). 1878--1937, US humorist; author of archy and mehitabel (1927)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) In the Carolingian empire, the same as a margrave.

(2) In medieval France and Italy from the tenth century, a prominent feudal lord, hierarchically located between a duke and a count.

(3) An inherited aristocratic title in several Western European states (France, Italy, Spain).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"It is the palace of the Sleeping Beauty," said the marquis, beginning to view the house with the eyes of a land owner.
At that instant a woman sprang from beneath a chestnut-tree standing to the right of the gate, and, without making any noise, passed before the marquis as rapidly as the shadow of a cloud.
"Pick up that, philosopher and vendor of wine," said the Marquis, throwing him another gold coin, "and spend it as you will.
Without deigning to look at the assemblage a second time, Monsieur the Marquis leaned back in his seat, and was just being driven away with the air of a gentleman who had accidentally broke some common thing, and had paid for it, and could afford to pay for it; when his ease was suddenly disturbed by a coin flying into his carriage, and ringing on its floor.
The marquis appeared to have decided that the fine arts offered a safe subject of conversation, as not leading to startling personal revelations.
Newman refused a cigar, but he established himself upon one of the divans, while the marquis puffed his own weed before the fire-place, and Valentin sat looking through the light fumes of a cigarette from one to the other.
To this the peasant answered, "Senor- sinner that I am!- cannot your worship see that I am not Don Rodrigo de Narvaez nor the Marquis of Mantua, but Pedro Alonso your neighbour, and that your worship is neither Baldwin nor Abindarraez, but the worthy gentleman Senor Quixada?"
"I give you his very words; and if the marquis chooses to be candid, he will confess that they perfectly agree with what his majesty said to him, when he went six months ago to consult him upon the subject of your espousing his daughter."
On the return of the Bourbons, one of his old friends, the Marquis de Pombreton, formerly lieutenant in the Black mousquetaires, returned to him--so he said--twelve hundred pistoles which he had lent to the marquis for the purpose of emigrating.
"No, no," exclaimed the duke, "take the marquis on shore first."
She handed me a card bearing the name of the Marquis de Villarel.
People are not so unhappy unless they have something to repent of," added Tom Eaves with a knowing wag of his head; "and depend on it, that woman would not be so submissive as she is if the Marquis had not some sword to hold over her."

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