[ey-kyoo; French ey-ky]
noun, plural écus [ey-kyooz; French ey-ky] .
the shield carried by a mounted man-at-arms in the Middle Ages.
any of various gold and silver coins of France, issued from the 13th through the 18th centuries, bearing the figure of a shield.

1695–1705; < French; Old French escu < Latin scūtum shield

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World English Dictionary
écu (eɪˈkjuː, French eky)
1.  any of various former French gold or silver coins
2.  a small shield
[C18: from Old French escu, from Latin scūtum shield]

Relevant Questions
ECU (ˈeɪkjuː, (sometimes) ˈiːˈsiːˈjuː)
n acronym for
European Currency Unit: a former unit of currency based on the composite value of several different currencies in the European Union and functioning as both the reserve asset and the accounting unit of the European Monetary System; replaced by the euro in 1999

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

old Fr. silver coin, 1704, from O.Fr. escu, from L. scutum "shield" (see hide (n.1)). First issued by Louis IX; so called because the shield of France was imprinted on them.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. emergency care unit

  2. European currency unit

  3. extreme close-up

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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