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[ek-roo, ey-kroo] /ˈɛk ru, ˈeɪ kru/
very light brown in color, as raw silk, unbleached linen, etc.
an ecru color.
Also, écru
[French ey-kry] /French eɪˈkrü/ (Show IPA)
Origin of ecru
1865-70; < French, equivalent to é- completely (< Latin ex- ex-1) + cru raw (< Latin crūdus; see crude) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ecru
Historical Examples
  • Over the back was an ecru antimacassar, tied with a pale-blue ribbon.

    Mrs. Bindle Hebert Jenkins
  • In giving a brownish hue to such light colors as beige, ecru, etc., it is invaluable.

  • And the curtains are just simple cotton voiles, ecru in the living and dining rooms, and white in the bedrooms.

    A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband Louise Bennett Weaver
  • She wore a percale gown, ecru ground with bright figures, a rose-colored cravat and a bonnet laden with flowers.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • A nervous tug-of-war was taking place between her right and left hand, with a twisted-up pair of ecru gloves for the cable.

    The Shadow Arthur Stringer
  • The chief end of man is to witness an ecru coyote and a few absolute human failures like you and me.

    Heart's Desire

    Emerson Hough
  • Madame had, cried madame's maid, running to fetch one with little pink flowers and green leaves on an ecru ground.

    A Modern Chronicle, Complete Winston Churchill
  • In color it runs from ecru drab to hair-brown with streaks of the latter, and it is very viscid when moist.

  • ecru: Continue the foregoing operation for blue by passing the goods through a solution of prussiate of potash.

  • He was slightly smaller than a load of hay in his belted suit of ecru pongee; he wore a satisfied air and a pleased mustache.

British Dictionary definitions for ecru


/ˈɛkruː; ˈeɪkruː/
a greyish-yellow to a light greyish colour; the colour of unbleached linen
of the colour ecru
Word Origin
C19: from French, from é- (intensive) + cru raw, from Latin crūdus; see crude
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 ecru

1869, from French écru "raw, unbleached," from Old French escru "raw, crude, rough" (13c.), from es- "thoroughly" (see ex-) + Latin crudus "raw" (see crude).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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