marquis (n.) Look up marquis at Dictionary.com
also marquess, c.1300, title of nobility, from Old French marchis, literally "ruler of a border area," from Old French marche "frontier," from Medieval Latin marca "frontier, frontier territory" (see march (n.1)). Originally the ruler of border territories in various European regions (such as Italian marchese, Spanish marqués); later a mere title of rank, below duke and above count. Related: Marquisate.