1

wildcat

noun wild·cat \ ˈwī(-ə)l(d)-ˌkat \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of wildcat

plural wildcats
1 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 (such as the lynx or ocelot)
c :a feral domestic cat
2 :a savage quick-tempered person
3 a :wildcat money
b :a wildcat oil or gas well
c :a wildcat strike

Recent Examples of wildcat from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wildcat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of wildcat

14th century


2

wildcat

adjective

Definition of wildcat

1 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
2 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

Recent Examples of wildcat from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wildcat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of wildcat

1838

Other Mining and Drilling Terms


3

wildcat

verb

Definition of wildcat

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

Recent Examples of wildcat from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wildcat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of wildcat

circa 1903

Other Mining and Drilling Terms



WILDCAT Defined for English Language Learners

wildcat

noun

Definition of wildcat for English Language Learners

  • : a kind of cat that lives in the wilderness


WILDCAT Defined for Kids

wildcat

noun wild·cat \ ˈwīld-ˌkat \

Definition of wildcat for Students

:a wild animal (as an ocelot or lynx) of the cat family that is of small or medium size


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