[ 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 Frenchescu < Latinscūtum shield

Definition for ecus (2 of 2)

[ ey-koo or, sometimes, ee-see-yoo ]
/ eɪˈku or, sometimes, ˈiˈsiˈyu /


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.

Origin of ECU

E(uropean) C(urrency) U(nit), perhaps with play on écu
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for ecus

British Dictionary definitions for ecus (1 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

British Dictionary definitions for ecus (2 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
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