Asterisk



a small starlike symbol (*), used in writing and printing as a reference mark or to indicate omission, doubtful matter, etc.
Linguistics. the figure of a star (*) used to mark utterance that would be considered ungrammatical or otherwise unacceptable by native speakers of a language, as in
* I enjoy to ski.
Historical Linguistics. the figure of a star (*) used to mark a hypothetical or reconstructed form that is not attested in a text or inscription.
something in the shape of a star or asterisk.
to mark with an asterisk.
Contemporary Examples

In a year with less unrest economically, that would be an asterisk.
Can This Ornery Socialist Spoil the Clinton Coronation? David Freedlander July 1, 2014

The asterisk for the inevitable deluge of commenters noting that the honor isn’t actually a Nobel Prize.
Meet the Nobel* Winners in Economics Justin Green October 14, 2012

Keep the scare quotes around gay “marriage,” or at least put an asterisk after it.
RFRA Madness: What’s Next for Anti-Democratic ‘Religious Exemptions’ Jay Michaelson November 15, 2014

But now, in the name of religion, some people want to add an asterisk.
A Victory for ‘Religious Freedom’ is a Loss for Religion Gene Robinson June 7, 2014

Instead of guessing, put an asterisk in the vacant spot and have the search engine figure it out for you.
13 Hacks to Improve Your Google Search Nina Strochlic September 14, 2013

Historical Examples

In the description of his caricatures which follow, we shall indicate the designs which belong to this class with an asterisk.
English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the Nineteenth Century. Graham Everitt

The books to which direct reference is made are marked with an asterisk.
The Truth About Woman C. Gasquoine Hartley

The asterisk on the middle one indicates that it has been tuned.
Piano Tuning J. Cree Fischer

Only persons who speak are included, except a few marked with asterisk.
The Facts About Shakespeare William Allan Nielson

The series marked by an asterisk have already been demonstrated experimentally.
Mendelism Reginald Crundall Punnett

noun
a star-shaped character (*) used in printing or writing to indicate a cross-reference to a footnote, an omission, etc

(in historical linguistics) this sign used to indicate an unattested reconstructed form
(in descriptive linguistics) this sign used to indicate that an expression is ungrammatical or in some other way unacceptable

verb
(transitive) to mark with an asterisk
n.

“figure used in printing and writing to indicate footnote, omission, etc.,” late 14c., asterich, asterisc, from Late Latin asteriscus, from Greek asterikos “little star,” diminutive of aster “star” (see astro-). As a verb from 1733.

character
“*” ASCII code 42. Common names include: star; INTERCAL: splat; ITU-T: asterisk. Rare: wild card; gear; dingle; mult; spider; aster; times; twinkle; glob; Nathan Hale.
Commonly used as the multiplication operator and as the Kleene star. Often doubled, as in “x**2”, to mean “to the power”. In C and related languages, asterisk is used as the dereference operator, “*p” meaning “the thing pointed to by p”.
(2006-09-10)

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