Definition of wildcatter in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwīldˌkadər/


North American
1A prospector who sinks exploratory oil wells.
Example sentences
  • If a prospector finds a new gold mine or the wildcatter brings in a rich oil well, the probability of other prospectors and wildcatters making equally valuable finds diminishes, however slightly.
  • Independents - the industry term for companies that have more capital and know-how than the typical wildcatter - can grow either by exploring and finding reserves or by buying a company that already has them.
  • An oil wildcatter raised by an oil wildcatter, he moved into the railroad business in the early 1980s and made billions by laying fiber-optic cable along his Southern Pacific Railroad track and purchasing Qwest Communications.
1.1A risky investor.
Example sentences
  • After years languishing in the backwaters of the world's stock markets, the wildcatters are back in business.
  • Kali Bose is a wildcatter - an investor with an eye on promising new areas.
  • Big Oil now acts more like a risk-averse bank than a wildcatter, following Wall Street dictates on cash flow instead of Texas traditions of risk-taking.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: wild·cat·ter

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