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[ey-kyoo; French ey-ky] /eɪˈkyu; French eɪˈkü/
noun, plural écus
[ey-kyooz; French ey-ky] /eɪˈkyuz; French eɪˈkü/ (Show IPA)
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.
Origin of écu
1695-1705; < French; Old French escu < Latin scūtum shield Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for écu


/eɪˈkjuː; French eky/
any of various former French gold or silver coins
a small shield
Word Origin
C18: from Old French escu, from Latin scūtum shield


/ˈeɪkjuː; sometimes ˈiːˈsiːˈjuː/
noun acronym
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for écu



old French silver coin, 1704, from French écu, from Old French escu (12c.) "shield, coat of arms," also the name of a coin, from Latin scutum "shield" (see hide (n.1)). First issued by Louis IX (1226-1270); so called because the shield of France was imprinted on them.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for écu


  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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