catechu[kat′ə c̸ho̵̅o̅′, -kyo̵̅o̅′]
a hard, brown substance obtained from an Asiatic acacia (Acacia catechu) and other Asiatic trees and shrubs: used as an astringent in medicine, and for dyeing, tanning, etc.
Origin of catechuModern Latin ; from Malay kachu
- A spiny Asian tree (Acacia catechu) having bipinnately compound leaves, spikes of yellow flowers, and dark heartwood.
- A raw material obtained from the heartwood of this plant, used in the preparation of tannins and brown dyes. In both senses also called cutch.
Origin of catechuProbably from Malay kachu, probably from Dravidian karaiyal, karaiccal, that which is dissolved, from karai, to melt.
Probably a corruption of the Malay kachu.