Definition of wildcat in English:

wildcat

Line breaks: wild|cat
Pronunciation: /ˈwʌɪl(d)kat
 
/

noun

1A small native Eurasian and African cat that is typically grey with black markings and a bushy tail, noted for its ferocity.
  • Felis silvestris, family Felidae, the African race of which is believed to be the ancestor of the domestic cat
More example sentences
  • Over the years, Owen Newman and I had filmed cheetahs, lions, leopards, African wildcats and servals (for the first ever film of them) but never caracals.
  • Since Dolly's creation in 1996 a variety of other animals have been duplicated, including a caracal cat and an African wildcat.
  • Dresser's team is fine-tuning the cloning of small cats like the African wildcat, as well as the largest: tigers.
1.1Any of the smaller members of the cat family, especially (North American) the bobcat.
More example sentences
  • A highly adaptable wildcat of North America, the Bobcat has managed to survive in healthy numbers in a variety of habitats, consuming a diverse spectrum of prey, in both wild and inhabited regions.
  • Though more tolerant of people than many other wildcats, bobcats tend to avoid large cultivated areas.
1.2A hot-tempered or ferocious person, typically a woman.
More example sentences
  • I think she played the boss' daughter and Kevin liked her but she was a real wildcat.
  • I soon found out she was not a kid. She was a regular little wildcat.
2An exploratory oil well.
More example sentences
  • Peak exploration was in 1985 when 184 wildcats were drilled.

adjective

[attributive] Back to top  
1(Of a strike) sudden and unofficial: legislation to curb wildcat strikes
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  • And when shop floor workers became dissatisfied, they staged increasing numbers of ‘unofficial’ or wildcat strikes.
  • And at the time of writing we are seeing the first unofficial wildcat strikes in the civil service for 16 years!
  • This has seen members strike for two days in both February and April, and take part in a number of unofficial wildcat strikes.
2Commercially unsound or risky.
More example sentences
  • Those of you who might consider investing in a wildcat venture should also remember that the quality of geologic professional advice varies.
  • Naturally no banker likes to see money drawn out of his institution and put into a wildcat investment where neither he nor anybody else thereabout will ever see it again.

verb

[no object] US Back to top  
Prospect for oil.
More example sentences
  • Although Krajick's book about a pair of wildcatting prospectors is set mostly in Canada's Northwest Territories during the 1990s, the hostility and paranoia on display are the same as at the Namibian mine.
  • He had invested in a wildcatting deal and lost money, but it was ‘no fault of George,’ he said, adding that ‘the good Lord just didn't put any oil there.’
  • He was responsible for passage of the Wilderness Act, which is all that stands between deforestation and wildcatting across millions of acres of pristine federal land.

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