1. Heraldry A shield or shield-shaped emblem bearing a coat of arms.
2. An ornamental or protective plate, as for a keyhole.
3. Nautical The plate on the stern of a ship inscribed with the ship's name.
a blot on (one's) escutcheon
Dishonor to one's reputation.
[Middle Englishescochon, fromAnglo-Normanescuchon, fromVulgar Latin*scūtiō, scūtiōn-, fromLatinscūtum, shield; see skei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)escutcheon
the areas of a shield
A. dexter chief
B. center chief
C. sinister chief
D. dexter flank
E. fess point
F. sinister flank
G. dexter base
H. center base
I. sinister base
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.