wild cat
cat cat (k[a^]t), n. [AS. cat; akin to D. & Dan. kat, Sw. katt, Icel. k["o]ttr, G. katze, kater, Ir. cat, W. cath, Armor. kaz, LL. catus, Bisc. catua, NGr. ga`ta, ga`tos, Russ. & Pol. kot, Turk. kedi, Ar. qitt; of unknown origin. Cf. {Kitten}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any animal belonging to the natural family {Felidae}, and in particular to the various species of the genera {Felis}, {Panthera}, and {Lynx}. The domestic cat is {Felis domestica}. The European wild cat ({Felis catus}) is much larger than the domestic cat. In the United States the name {wild cat} is commonly applied to the bay lynx ({Lynx rufus}). The larger felines, such as the lion, tiger, leopard, and cougar, are often referred to as cats, and sometimes as big cats. See {Wild cat}, and {Tiger cat}. [1913 Webster +PJC]

Note: The domestic cat includes many varieties named from their place of origin or from some peculiarity; as, the {Angora cat}; the {Maltese cat}; the {Manx cat}; the {Siamese cat}. [1913 Webster]

Laying aside their often rancorous debate over how best to preserve the {Florida panther}, state and federal wildlife officials, environmentalists, and independent scientists endorsed the proposal, and in 1995 the eight cats [female Texas cougars] were brought from Texas and released. . . . Uprooted from the arid hills of West Texas, three of the imports have died, but the remaining five adapted to swamp life and have each given birth to at least one litter of kittens. --Mark Derr (N. Y. Times, Nov. 2, 1999, Science Times p. F2). [PJC]

Note: The word cat is also used to designate other animals, from some fancied resemblance; as, civet cat, fisher cat, catbird, catfish shark, sea cat. [1913 Webster]

2. (Naut.) (a) A strong vessel with a narrow stern, projecting quarters, and deep waist. It is employed in the coal and timber trade. (b) A strong tackle used to draw an anchor up to the cathead of a ship. --Totten. [1913 Webster]

3. A double tripod (for holding a plate, etc.), having six feet, of which three rest on the ground, in whatever position it is placed. [1913 Webster]

4. An old game; specifically: (a) The game of tipcat and the implement with which it is played. See {Tipcat}. (b) A game of ball, called, according to the number of batters, one old cat, two old cat, etc. [1913 Webster]

5. same as {cat o' nine tails}; as, British sailors feared the cat. [1913 Webster + WordNet 1.5]

6. A {catamaran}. [PJC]

{Angora cat}, {blind cat}, See under {Angora}, {Blind}.

{Black cat} the fisher. See under {Black}.

{Cat and dog}, like a cat and dog; quarrelsome; inharmonious. ``I am sure we have lived a cat and dog life of it.'' --Coleridge.

{Cat block} (Naut.), a heavy iron-strapped block with a large hook, part of the tackle used in drawing an anchor up to the cathead.

{Cat hook} (Naut.), a strong hook attached to a cat block.

{Cat nap}, a very short sleep. [Colloq.]

{Cat o' nine tails}, an instrument of punishment consisting of nine pieces of knotted line or cord fastened to a handle; -- formerly used to flog offenders on the bare back.

{Cat's cradle}, game played, esp. by children, with a string looped on the fingers so, as to resemble small cradle. The string is transferred from the fingers of one to those of another, at each transfer with a change of form. See {Cratch}, {Cratch cradle}.

{To bell the cat}, to perform a very dangerous or very difficult task; -- taken metaphorically from a fable about a mouse who proposes to put a bell on a cat, so as to be able to hear the cat coming.

{To let the cat out of the bag}, to tell a secret, carelessly or willfully. [Colloq.]

{Bush cat}, the serval. See {Serval}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wild cat — Wild Wild, a. [Compar. {Wilder}; superl. {Wildest}.] [OE. wilde, AS. wilde; akin to OFries. wilde, D. wild, OS. & OHG. wildi, G. wild, Sw. & Dan. vild, Icel. villr wild, bewildered, astray, Goth. wilpeis wild, and G. & OHG. wild game, deer; of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wild|cat — «WYLD KAT», noun, adjective, verb, cat|ted, cat|ting. –noun. 1. Scientifically, any wild member of the common cat species Felis silvestris. In a looser or less scientific usage, however, wildcat can refer to other species of larger cats,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Wild Cat — Album par Tygers of Pan Tang Sortie 23 août 1980 Enregistrement Juin 1980 Morgan Studios, Londres Durée 44:36 (version originale) Genre Hard rock, Heavy m …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wild-cat — a. 1. Unsound; worthless; irresponsible; unsafe; said to have been originally applied to the notes of an insolvent bank in Michigan upon which there was the figure of a panther. [1913 Webster] 2. (Railroad) Running without control; running along …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wild cat — wild ,cat noun count a wild animal that is similar to a pet cat but larger a. any member of the cat family that lives in natural conditions, rather than with people …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wild cat — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms wild cat : singular wild cat plural wild cats a) a wild animal that is similar to a pet cat but larger b) any member of the cat family that lives in natural conditions, rather than with people …   English dictionary

  • wild cat — vilpišys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Felis silvestris angl. European wild cat; wild cat vok. europäische Wildkatze; Waldkatze; wilde Katze; Wildkatze rus. дикая кошка; европейская кошка;… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Wild Cat — Der Begriff Wild Cat bezeichnet ein Explorationsunternehmen zur Suche von Mineralien und Erzen, dass äußerst riskant, aber bei Erfolg sehr ertragsreich sein kann. Quelle Gabler Banklexikon Handwörterbuch für das Bank und Sparkassenwesen mit… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • wild cat — noun 1. /ˈwaɪld kæt/ (say wuyld kat) → native cat. 2. /waɪld ˈkæt/ (say wuyld kat) any domestic cat which has taken to living in the wild …   Australian English dictionary

  • wild cat — untamed cat, street cat …   English contemporary dictionary

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