wildcat

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wildcat

wildcat, common name of Old World cats (Felis silvestris) of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The wildcat resembles a large domestic tabby cat with a heavy tail; its fur is brownish to gray, with a pattern of light stripes. It can and does interbreed with domestic cats. There are more than 20 recognized subspecies. The Near Eastern, or African, wildcat (F. silvestris lybica) was apparently domesticated some 10,000 years ago, possibly when the cats began to prey on mice and rats attracted to ancient granaries, and is ancestral to the modern domestic cat. The name wildcat is also applied regionally to a variety of small cats. In North America it is a common name for the bobcat (see lynx).
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wildcat

[′wīl‚kat]
(naval architecture)
The drum of an anchor windlass, with projections on its rim that engage the anchor chain.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

wildcat

1. a wild European cat, Felis silvestris, that resembles the domestic tabby but is larger and has a bushy tail
2. any of various other felines, esp of the genus Lynx, such as the lynx and the caracal
3. US and Canadian another name for bobcat
4. US and Canadian an unsound commercial enterprise
5. US and Canadian a railway locomotive in motion without drawing any carriages or wagons
6. US and Canadian
a. of or relating to an unsound business enterprise
b. financially or commercially unsound
7. US and Canadian (of a train) running without permission or outside the timetable
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005