1680s, "large tent of unusual elaborateness," 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."
By 1812 the English word was used of large wooden structures erected for a temporary purpose (a concert, dinner party, etc.). The extended sense of "canopy over the entrance to a hotel or theater, etc." is recorded by 1912 in American English.
updated on October 19, 2022