- 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
- 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
Examples from the Web for ecus
Historical Examples of ecus
It is believed their loss was more than thirty millions of ecus.The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete
Duc de Saint-Simon
You and your soldiers had taken more than fifty ecus worth of forage from me, as well as a cow and two sheep.Original Short Stories of Maupassant, Volume 1
Guy de Maupassant
Panurge then, without any more ado, threw a large leathern purse stuffed with gold crowns (ecus au soleil) among them.Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete.
Leonardo was given a pension of seven ecus de France per year and a residence near Amboise.Castles and Chateaux of Old Touraine and the Loire Country
Of course all the young men of the district paid court to her, more on account of her ecus than her pretty ways.
- any of various former French gold or silver coins
- a small shield
Word Origin for écu
- 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
old French silver coin, 1704, from French écu, from Old French escu (12c.) "shield, coat of arms," also the name of a coin, from Latin scutum "shield" (see hide (n.1)). First issued by Louis IX (1226-1270); so called because the shield of France was imprinted on them.