[ ey-koo or, sometimes, ee-see-yoo ]
/ eɪˈku or, sometimes, ˈiˈsiˈyu /
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a former money of account of the European Common Market that was used in international finance until the euro was adopted and was based on the combined prorated values of the currencies of member nations.
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Origin of ECU

E(uropean) C(urrency) U(nit), perhaps with play on écu

Other definitions for ECU (2 of 3)

[ ey-kyoo; French ey-ky ]
/ eɪˈkyu; French eɪˈkü /

noun, plural é·cus [ey-kyooz; French ey-ky]. /eɪˈkyuz; French eɪˈkü/.
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

Other definitions for ECU (3 of 3)


English Church Union.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use ECU in a sentence

  • From ecu you have ecuyer;—from scutum scutiger, both passing into our English squire.

    The Eagle's Nest|John Ruskin
  • In which sport she was so taken up with her hands, that she forgot to cheat, and Denys won an "ecu au soleil" of her.

  • They drank their coffees, gave an ecu to the proprietor, and went out.

British Dictionary definitions for ECU (1 of 2)

/ (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

British Dictionary definitions for ECU (2 of 2)

/ (eɪˈkjuː, French eky) /

any of various former French gold or silver coins
a small shield

Word Origin for écu

C18: from Old French escu, from Latin scūtum shield
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