nounpl. -·cats· or -·cat·
- any of a large group of fierce, medium-sized, undomesticated cats, including the bobcat, Canada lynx, ocelot, serval, and caracal
- a house cat that has escaped from domesticationin this sense, usually written wild cat
- any person regarded as like a wildcat in fierceness, aggressiveness, etc.
- an unsound or risky business scheme
- an oil well drilled in an area not previously known to have oil
- unsound or financially risky: a wildcat venture
- designating or of an enterprise or undertaking that is illegal, unethical, irregular, unauthorized, etc.; specif., designating a labor strike in violation of a contract and not officially authorized by the union representing the strikers
intransitive verb-·cat·ted, -·cat·ting
- to drill for oil in an area previously considered unproductive
- to engage in wildcat enterprises, etc.
- Any of various wild felines of small to medium size, including the bobcat and the caracal.
- A small wild feline (Felis silvestris) of Eurasia and Africa, generally regarded as being the ancestor of the domestic cat.
- a. A quick-tempered person.b. A person regarded as fierce.
- An oil or natural-gas well drilled in an area not known to be productive.
- A workers' strike unauthorized by their union.
- a. Risky or unsound, especially financially.b. Issued by a financially irresponsible bank: wildcat currency.c. Operating or accomplished outside the norms of standard, ethical business procedures: wildcat life insurance schemes.
- Of, relating to, or being an oil or natural-gas well drilled speculatively in an area not known to be productive.
- Undertaken by workers without approval of the officials of their union: a wildcat strike.
verbwild·cat·ted, wild·cat·ting, wild·cats
To prospect for (oil, for example) in an area supposed to be unproductive.
- To prospect for oil or other minerals in an area not known to be productive.
- To go out on an unauthorized labor strike.
- A species of cat, Felis silvestris.
- Any undomesticated species of cat.
- (figuratively) a person who acts like a wildcat, often sexually
- Industrial action carried out without authorization of trade unions; short for "wildcat strike" or "wildcat action".
- A wildcat broke out after the management announced the plan for redundancy.
- (firearms) a caliber of ammunition derived by amending another type of cartridge and not made by commercial manufacturers.
- (American football) an offensive formation characterized by a direct snap to a running back and an unbalanced offensive line.