Definition of catechu in English:



mass noun
  • 1A vegetable extract containing tannin, especially one obtained from the heartwood of an Indian acacia tree, used for tanning and dyeing.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It consists of a dried paste that often includes tobacco, areca nuts, catechu, and scent or flavoring.’
    • ‘Sprinkle on a little burnt lime with some catechu gum of a Malayan acacia tree and add a touch of nutmeg and cardamom for flavor.’
    1. 1.1
      another term for gambier


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