1520s, from Middle French équiper "to fit out," from Old French esquiper "fit out a ship, load on board" (12c.), probably from Old Norse skipa "arrange, place in order," usually "fit out a ship," but also of warriors manning a hall and trees laden with ripe fruit, from skip "ship" (see ship (n.)). Related: Equipped; equipping. Similar words in Spanish and Portuguese ultimately are from Germanic.
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