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"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.
"*" 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".