Before 1947 the town was known as Borchali. Between 1947 and 1952 the town was known as Sarvan, a name still used in some contexts. Marneuli town gained the official status of 'city' (gorod) in 1964.
Today Marneuli is the site of a Georgian military air base. That base was bombed on August 8, 2008 during the War in South Ossetia (2008), reportedly leaving 4 dead (all ethnic Georgians) and 5 wounded.