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1858, from French maquis "undergrowth, shrub," especially in reference to the dense scrub of certain Mediterranean coastal regions, long the haunts of outlaws and fugitives, from Corsican Italian macchia "spot," from Latin macula "spot, stain;" the landscapes so called from their mottled appearance. Used figuratively of French resistance in World War II (1943). A member is a maquisard.
a scrubland vegetation of the Mediterranean region, composed primarily of leathery, broad-leaved evergreen shrubs or small trees. Garigue, or garrigue, a poorer version of this vegetation, is found in areas with a thin, rocky soil. Maquis occurs primarily on the lower slopes of mountains bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Many of the shrubs are aromatic, such as mints, laurels, and myrtles. Olives, figs, and other small trees are scattered throughout the area and often form open forests if undisturbed by humans.