plural ecus ˈä-ˌkyüz How to pronounce ecu (audio)
: any of various old French units of value
also : a coin representing an ecu
often capitalized E&C&U
: a money of account based on the currency units of members of the European Union from 1979 up to the introduction of the euro in 1999

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle French, literally, shield, from Old French escu, from Latin scutum; from the device of a shield on the coin — more at esquire

Noun (2)

European Currency Unit (influenced by French écu ecu)

First Known Use

Noun (1)

circa 1593, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1970, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ecu was circa 1593

Dictionary Entries Near ecu

Cite this Entry

“Ecu.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on ecu

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