(noun, adjective, verb)


1. outside the bounds of legitimate or ethical business practices

- wildcat currency issued by irresponsible banks

- wildcat stock speculation

- a wildcat airline

Similar word(s): unsound

2. without official authorization

- wildcat work stoppage

Similar word(s): unofficial, unauthorised, unauthorized

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

Similar word(s): explorative, exploratory


1. an exploratory oil well drilled in land not known to be an oil field

Definition categories: man–made, oiler

2. a cruelly rapacious person

Similar word(s): beast, brute, savage, wolf

Definition categories: person, aggressor, assailant, assaulter, attacker

3. any small or medium-sized cat resembling the domestic cat and living in the wild

Definition categories: animal, cat


1. To drill for oil in an area where no oil has been found before.

- You'd have to be very rich or very desperate to go wildcatting that far east.