Share this entry

catechu Syllabification: cat·e·chu
Pronunciation: /ˈkatəˌCHo͞o/ /-ˌSHo͞o/
(also cachou)

Definition of catechu in English:


A vegetable extract containing tannin, especially one (also called cutch) obtained from the heartwood of an Indian acacia tree, used chiefly for tanning and dyeing.
  • The chief source of this is Acacia catechu, family Leguminosae
Example sentences
  • Gutkha is a mixture of areca, catechu, betel nut, lime, tobacco and mint.
  • Extracts of areca catechu, rhus coppallina, diospyros virginiana, sassafrass albidium, and chenopodium ambrosiodes were found to produce tumors in rats.
  • Nair et al. first demonstrated that aqueous extracts of areca nut and catechu were capable of generating superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide at pH > 9.5.


Late 17th century: modern Latin, from Malay kacu. Compare with cachou.

Definition of catechu in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhôdē
arrogantly superior and disdainful