Definition of catechu in English:

Share this entry


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.

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.