The Hungarian Marosvásárhely is sometimes shortened to Vásárhely in local colloquial Hungarian language.
The first written reference of the city was in the Papal registry in Latin as Novum Forum Siculorum in 1332, and later as Sekulvasarhel (modern Hungarian: Székelyvásárhely), meaning "new market of the Székelys", in 1349.
On 13 January 1849 the troops of major Tolnay recaptured it.
In 1470 King Matthias Corvinus granted the first judicial privilege to the city, and in 1482 declared the city a royal settlement.
In 1492, wayvoda (prince) István Báthory strengthened its monastery with fortifications.
In 1704, the kuruc troops of Pál Kaszás occupied the fortress, which was re-occupied by Austrian troops led by Lőrinc Pekry in 1706.
On 5 April 1707 Francis II Rákóczi was raised to the chair of princes here.
Avram Iancu, the leader of the 1848 Romanian revolution in Transylvania, was a young lawyer in the city of Marosvásárhely before engaging in the fight for the rights of Romanians living in Transylvania.