[ kat-i-choo, -kyoo ]
/ ˈkæt ɪˌtʃu, -ˌkyu /


any of several astringent substances obtained from various tropical plants, especially from the wood of two East Indian acacias, Acacia catechu and A. suma: used in medicine, dyeing, tanning, etc.

Origin of catechu

1670–80; < New Latin < Portuguese; perhaps a conflation of Marathi kāt catechu and kāccu, with same sense, alleged to be < Malayalam; cashoo, cutch perhaps < Malay kacu < Malayalam, or a cognate Dravidian word
Also called cashoo, cutch. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for catechu

British Dictionary definitions for catechu


cachou or cutch

/ (ˈkætɪˌtʃuː) /


a water-soluble astringent resinous substance obtained from any of certain tropical plants, esp the leguminous tree Acacia catechu of S Asia, and used in medicine, tanning, and dyeingSee also gambier

Word Origin for catechu

C17: probably from Malay kachu, of Dravidian origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012