Definition of catechu in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkadəˌ(t)SHo͞o/
(also cachou)


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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cat·e·chu

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