• synonyms


[kat-i-choo, -kyoo]
See more synonyms for catechu on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.
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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for catechu

Historical Examples

  • The fruit, when tender, is masticated like the Areca catechu.

    The Philippine Islands

    John Foreman

  • For other dyes cotton has a special attraction, such as catechu.

    Vegetable Dyes

    Ethel M. Mairet

  • With some dyes a separate bath is needed, such as with Camwood or Catechu.

    Vegetable Dyes

    Ethel M. Mairet

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for catechu


cachou or cutch

  1. 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
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Word Origin

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