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- (historical) The western United States during the 19th-century era of settlement, commonly believed to be lawless and unruly.
- (by extension) A place or situation in which disorderly behavior prevails, especially due to a lack of regulatory oversight or an inadequate legal system.
- The CEO commented that the Russian business environment of the 1990s was the Wild West.
western United States during the 19th-century era of settlement
place or situation in which disorderly behaviour prevails