or Ma·quis

[mah-kee, ma-; French ma-kee]

noun, plural ma·quis [mah-keez, ma-; French ma-kee] /mɑˈkiz, mæ-; French maˈki/.

the French underground movement, or Resistance, that combatted the Nazis in World War II.
Also called maquisard. a member of this movement.

Origin of maquis

1940–45; < French, special use of maquis, makis wild, bushy land < Italian (Corsican dial.) macchie (with French -is for -ie), plural of macchia a thicket < Latin macula spot




an evergreen shrub, Aristotelia chilensis, of Chile, having toothed, oblong leaves, greenish-white flowers, and purple berries, grown as an ornamental in S California.

Origin of maqui

1695–1705; < Spanish < Araucanian Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for maquis

Historical Examples of maquis

  • "My future sister-in-law doesn't like the maquis," laughed Colomba.


    Prosper Merimee

  • You must get on his back, and come with me to the Stazzona maquis.


    Prosper Merimee

  • A dog ran out of the maquis, and when the girl called out "Brusco!"


    Prosper Merimee

  • I had a guide with me, for fear I should lose my way in the maquis.

    The Corsican Brothers

    Alexandre Dumas

  • The Maquis took advantage of the silence which followed Vincent's criticism to rise from table.

    Pelham, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for maquis


noun plural -quis (-ˈkiː)

shrubby mostly evergreen vegetation found in coastal regions of the Mediterranean: includes myrtles, heaths, arbutus, cork oak, and ilex
(often capital)
  1. the French underground movement that fought against the German occupying forces in World War II
  2. a member of this movement

Word Origin for maquis

C20: from French, from Italian macchia thicket, from Latin macula spot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for maquis

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper