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See also: wild card and wild-card



wild +‎ card


wildcard (plural wildcards)

  1. (computing) A character that takes the place of any other character or string that is not known or specified.
    In searching, if a*m finds amalgam, atom and alum, then * is acting as a wildcard.
  2. (also written wild card) An uncontrolled or unpredictable element.
    • 2008 February 8, Eli Kintisch, "From Gasoline Alleys to Electric Avenues" [1], Science 319(5864), page 751,
      There are several technical wildcards, such as how the larger battery packs--four times larger than those of the Prius--will withstand the rigors of city driving, []
  3. (also written wild card) An element, often deliberately concealed, which is withheld for contingency.
  4. (sports, card games) Alternative form of wild card
    • 2011 June 28, Piers Newbery, “Wimbledon 2011: Sabine Lisicki beats Marion Bartoli”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      German wildcard Sabine Lisicki conquered her nerves to defeat France's Marion Bartoli and take her amazing Wimbledon run into the semi-finals.

Usage notes[edit]

A wild card in card games is usually written as two separate words. The computing term is written as one compound word.