catechu

[kat-i-choo, -kyoo]
noun
  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.

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.
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British Dictionary definitions for catechu

catechu

cachou or cutch

noun
  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

Word Origin for catechu

C17: probably from Malay kachu, of Dravidian origin
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