- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for catechu
The fruit, when tender, is masticated like the Areca catechu.The Philippine Islands
For other dyes cotton has a special attraction, such as catechu.
With some dyes a separate bath is needed, such as with Camwood or Catechu.
Catechu and Betelleaf are chewed for this purpose by the natives of the East.The Action of Medicines in the System
Frederick William Headland
The extract is an efficient substitute for catechu and kino.Cooley's Practical Receipts, Volume II
cachou or cutch
- 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
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