WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
cat•e•chu  (kati cho̅o̅′, -kyo̅o̅′),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. any of several astringent substances obtained from various tropical plants, esp. from the wood of two East Indian acacias, Acacia catechu and A. suma: used in medicine, dyeing, tanning, etc. Also called  cashoo, cutch. 
  • Malayalam, or a cognate Dravidian word
  • Malay kacu
  • Malayalam; cashoo, cutch perh.
  • Portuguese; perh. a conflation of Marathi kāt catechu and kāccu, with same sense, alleged to be
  • Neo-Latin
  • 1670–80


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

catechu /ˈkætɪˌtʃuː/, cachou, cutch n
  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 dyeing
Etymology: 17th Century: probably from Malay kachu, of Dravidian origin



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