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.
2.(Railroad) Running without control; running along the line without a train; as, a wild-cat locomotive.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in classic literature ?
The horse performed some wonderful kicking and even Eureka assisted when she leaped bodily upon the Gargoyles and scratched and bit at them like a wild-cat.
Her eyes blazed up, and she jumped for him like a wild-cat, and when she was done with him she was rags and he wasn't anything but an allegory.
There will be no such thing as living with him—they are both bad shots though, mere chance—mere chance—now, I never fired twice at a cloven foot in my life—it is hit or miss with me—dead or run away-had it been a bear, or a wild-cat, a man might have wanted both barrels.
Some cling to you in woebegone misery; others come back fiercely and weirdly, like ghouls bent upon sucking your strength away; others, again, have a catastrophic splendour; some are unvenerated recollections, as of spiteful wild-cats clawing at your agonized vitals; others are severe, like a visitation; and one or two rise up draped and mysterious, with an aspect of ominous menace.
The domestic-cat drawings are designed to complement the wild-cat illustrations as well as the story line.
The disruption followed a wild-cat strike on Friday evening and throughout Saturday by hundreds of check-in staff protesting at a new electronic system for checking in and out of work.