1570s, in military sense, "an armed guard," later generally, "a protecting, guiding, or honorary guard; protection or safeguard on a journey or excursion," from French escorte (16c.), from Italian scorta, literally "a guiding," from scorgere "to guide," from Vulgar Latin *excorrigere, from ex- "out" (see ex-) + Latin corrigere "set right" (see correct (v.)). The sense of "person accompanying another to a social occasion" is 1936; as a person hired by a client for sexual services by 1974.
1708, originally military, "attend and guard on a journey or voyage; convoy as a guard, protector, or guide," from escort (n.), or from French escorter; social sense is from 1890. Related: Escorted; escorting.