noun \ˈwī(-ə)l(d)-ˌkat\

: a kind of cat that lives in the wilderness

plural wildcats

Full Definition of WILDCAT

a :  an Old World cat (Felis silvestris) that resembles but is heavier in build than the domestic tabby cat and is usually held to be among the ancestors of the domestic cat
b or plural wildcat :  any of various small or medium-sized cats (as the lynx or ocelot)
c :  a feral domestic cat
:  a savage quick-tempered person
a :  wildcat money
b :  a wildcat oil or gas well
c :  a wildcat strike

First Known Use of WILDCAT

14th century



Definition of WILDCAT

a (1) :  issued by a financially irresponsible banking establishment <wildcat currency> (2) :  financially irresponsible or unreliable <wildcat banks>
b :  operating, produced, or carried on outside the bounds of standard or legitimate business practices <wildcat insurance schemes — H. H. Reichard>
c :  of, relating to, or being an oil or gas well drilled in territory not known to be productive
d :  initiated by a group of workers without formal union approval or in violation of a contract <a wildcat strike> <wildcat work stoppages>
a of a cartridge :  having a bullet of standard caliber but using an expanded case or a case designed for a bullet of greater caliber necked down for the smaller bullet
b of a firearm :  using wildcat cartridges

First Known Use of WILDCAT


Other Mining and Drilling Terms

ore, trepan, wildcat



Definition of WILDCAT

intransitive verb
:  to prospect and drill an experimental oil or gas well or sink a mine shaft in territory not known to be productive

First Known Use of WILDCAT

circa 1903

Other Mining and Drilling Terms

ore, trepan


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Wild species (Felis silvestris) of cat (family Felidae) native to Eurasian forests. Very similar to the domestic yellowish tabby, it will interbreed with domestic cats (of which it is presumably an ancestor). It is 20–32 in. (50–80 cm) long, excluding the 10–14-in. (25–35-cm) tail. It stands 14–16 in. (35–40 cm) and weighs 6–20 lbs (3–10 kg). Solitary and nocturnal, it preys on birds and small animals. In North America the name is used for the bobcat and lynx; in Africa it refers to the Caffre cat.


Next Word in the Dictionary: wildcatter
Previous Word in the Dictionary: wild carrot
All Words Near: wildcat

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up wildcat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).