[ ey-koo or, sometimes, ee-see-yoo ]

  1. 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

Other definitions for écu (2 of 3)

[ ey-kyoo; French ey-ky ]

noun,plural é·cus [ey-kyooz; French ey-ky]. /eɪˈkyuz; French eɪˈkü/.
  1. the shield carried by a mounted man-at-arms in the Middle Ages.

  2. 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 E.C.U. (3 of 3)


  1. English Church Union. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ECU in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ECU (1 of 2)


/ (ˈeɪkjuː, sometimes ˈiːˈsiːˈjuː) /

n acronym for
  1. 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 écu (2 of 2)


/ (eɪˈkjuː, French eky) /

  1. any of various former French gold or silver coins

  2. a small shield

Origin of 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