[ek-roo, ey-kroo]


very light brown in color, as raw silk, unbleached linen, etc.


an ecru color.

Also é·cru [French ey-kry] /French eɪˈkrü/.

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ecru

Historical Examples of ecru

  • 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.

  • She wore a percale gown, ecru ground with bright figures, a rose-colored cravat and a bonnet laden with flowers.


    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

British Dictionary definitions for ecru



a greyish-yellow to a light greyish colour; the colour of unbleached linen


of the colour ecru

Word Origin for ecru

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

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