Nearby words

  1. wild-and-woolly,
  2. wild-card,
  3. wild-eyed,
  4. wild-goose chase,
  5. wild-headed,
  6. wildcat bank,
  7. wildcat strike,
  8. wildcatter,
  9. wilde,
  10. wilde, oscar

Origin of wildcat

1375–1425; late Middle English wilde cat; compare Middle Low German wildkatte Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wildcat

British Dictionary definitions for wildcat


/ (ˈwaɪldˌkæt) /

noun plural -cats or -cat

verb -cats, -catting or -catted

(intr) to drill for petroleum or natural gas in an area having no known reserves
Derived Formswildcatting, noun, adjective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for wildcat



early 15c., from wild (adj.) + cat (n.). Meaning "savage woman" is recorded from 1570s; sense of "one who forms rash projects" is attested from 1812. The adjective in the financial speculative sense is first recorded 1838, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper