AskDefine | Define wildcat

The Collaborative Dictionary

Wild-cat \Wild"-cat`\, a.
Unsound; worthless; irresponsible; unsafe; -- said to have been originally applied to the notes of an insolvent bank in Michigan upon which there was the figure of a panther. [1913 Webster]
(Railroad) Running without control; running along the line without a train; as, a wild-cat locomotive. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]

Word Net

wildcat adj
1 outside the bounds of legitimate or ethical business practices; "wildcat currency issued by irresponsible banks"; "wildcat stock speculation"; "a wildcat airline"; "wildcat life insurance schemes"
2 without official authorization; "an unauthorized strike"; "wildcat work stoppage" [syn: unauthorized, unauthorised]
3 (of a mine or oil well) drilled speculatively in an area not known to be productive; "drilling there would be strictly a wildcat operation"; "a wildcat mine"; "wildcat drilling"; "wildcat wells"


1 an exploratory oil well drilled in land not known to be an oil field [syn: wildcat well]
2 a cruelly rapacious person [syn: beast, wolf, savage, brute]
3 any small or medium-sized cat resembling the domestic cat and living in the wild [also: wildcatting, wildcatted]



  • /ˈwaɪldˌkæt/
  • /"waIld%k
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