1570s, in military sense, from Middle 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.
1708, originally military, from escort (n.), or from French escorter; social sense is from 1890. Related: Escorted; escorting.