asterisk

[as-tuh-risk]
noun
1.
a small starlike symbol (*), used in writing and printing as a reference mark or to indicate omission, doubtful matter, etc.
2.
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.
3.
Historical Linguistics. the figure of a star (*) used to mark a hypothetical or reconstructed form that is not attested in a text or inscription.
4.
something in the shape of a star or asterisk.
verb (used with object)
5.
to mark with an asterisk.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin asteriscus < Greek asterískos, diminutive of astḗr star


While asterisk is usually said as [as-tuh-risk] with the final syllable preceding the [k] a metathesized pronunciation is also heard, in which the [s] and [k] change places producing [as-tuh-riks]. This pronunciation, resulting in part from analogy with plural forms like kicks and sticks, can sometimes lead to a false analysis of [as-tuh-riks] as a plural pronunciation, with a corresponding singular [as-tuh-rik]. The metathesized pronunciation, although occasionally heard among educated speakers, is usually considered nonstandard, as is the pronunciation with no [s] in the final syllable.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
asterisk (ˈæstərɪsk)
 
n
1.  a star-shaped character (*) used in printing or writing to indicate a cross-reference to a footnote, an omission, etc
2.  a.  (in historical linguistics) this sign used to indicate an unattested reconstructed form
 b.  (in descriptive linguistics) this sign used to indicate that an expression is ungrammatical or in some other way unacceptable
 
vb
3.  (tr) to mark with an asterisk
 
[C17: from Late Latin asteriscus a small star, from Greek asteriskos, from astēr star]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

asterisk
late 14c., from L.L. asteriscus, from Gk. asterikos "little star," dim. of aster "star" (see astro-). The meaning "figure used in printing and writing to indicate footnote, omission, etc." first recorded 1610s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

asterisk definition

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)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Perhaps it means that if an asterisk sticks to one group of champions, it could also apply to all.
The sentence marked with an asterisk has been changed.
It's not that they have nothing to say, it's that what they say is not accompanied by an asterisk.
The asterisk prefixed to the names denotes a renomination.
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