Last modified on 17 March 2015, at 18:43


See also: , , ٭, , , and
Character *
Unicode name ASTERISK
Code point U+002A
Unicode block Basic Latin
) [U+0029] [U+002B] +


Wikipedia has an article on:




  1. (alchemy) The symbol for sal ammoniac.
  2. (astronomy) A star.
  3. (algebra) Complex or transpose conjugate; conjugate.
  4. (linear algebra, functional analysis) Dual space
  5. (algebra, computer science) Free monoid or Kleene star.
    In the language defined by AB*A, each string starts with an A, ends with a distinct A, and between them has zero or more Bs.

Derived termsEdit

  • (small form variant)
  • (astronomy): V*, Cl*

Punctuation markEdit


  1. Used at the beginning of a footnote, especially if it is the only one on the page, and after a word, phrase, or sentence that this footnote relates to.
  2. (Internet slang, informal) Used in pairs around a word or phrase to indicate emphasis; especially, used in plain-text contexts to simulate italics or boldface.
    This is a *big* problem.
  3. (historical linguistics) Used before or after a term to denote that it is only hypothesized and not actually attested, conveying several distinct notions:
    1. (when used before a term) That the term is reconstructed on the basis of comparative method by linguists, as the plausible ancestor form of existing, attested term in one or more languages, or by comparing other reconstructed terms.
      It is posited that Proto-Indo-European *sneygʷʰos is the etymon of both Latin nix and English snow.
    2. (when used after a term) That the term is actually attested, but not in its citation form that is being mentioned.
      PIE *ḱonk- yielded Vedic śaṅk-ate "worries, hesitates", as well as pre-Germanic *kank-, whence also Gothic hāhan* "to hang".
    3. (when used before a term) That the term is reconstructed by linguists as the etymon of some of the attested words, but in a more uncertain, speculative way, usually hypothesizing not on the basis of regular sound correspondences of the comparative method, but on the basis of some far-fetched prehistoric relationship that cannot be neither proved nor disproved, or otherwise scientifically falsified.
      His theory of the Proto-Slavic *kъniga being ultimately derived from Chinese, via the middle form *kūinig, reflecting ancient routes of cultural influx from the East, has not gained a firm ground in the Slavicist circles in the last century.
    4. (when used before a symbol representing a phoneme) That the specified phoneme is reconstructed on the basis of comparative method.
      Proto-Germanic had three unvoiced fricatives: */f/, */þ/, and */h/.
    5. (when used before a symbol representing a sound value) That the specified sound value is being guessed.
      Proto-Germanic had three unvoiced fricatives, possibly representing *[ɸ], *[θ], and *[x].
  4. (descriptive linguistics) Used before a term (word, or a sentence or phrase) to show that it is grammatically incorrect, or in some other way ill-formed.
    English prepositions come before the associated noun: we say She lives in Rome, not *She lives Rome in.
    Roots like **bep- were not allowed in Proto-Indo-European.
  5. (Internet slang) Used before or after a word to show a correction has been made, chiefly by the same participant.
    I'm our of time. / out*
  6. (computing) Used in various computing contexts as a multiplication symbol.
  7. (Internet) Indicates a field of a form that should be filled out obligatorily.
  8. (cricket) Marks a score or statistic that is incomplete; for example the score of a batsman who is (or was) not out.
  9. (computing) Used as a wildcard to denote zero or more characters.
  10. Used to censor sections of profane or obscene words.
    F**k You!


  • (multiplication symbol): ×, x, ·
  • (wildcard): %
  • (censor): ,

Derived termsEdit

  • (multiplication symbol): **

Coordinate termsEdit

  • (beginning a footnote): , , **
  • (multiplication symbol): +, -, /, %, ^, **
  • (for emphasis): /, _, [capitalization], [all-capitals]
  • (grammatically incorrect): ?
  • (wildcard): ?

Usage notesEdit

The English names are asterisk and star.


Abbreviation [please replace this header]Edit


  1. (text messaging) star
    ur a *! — You're a star!
  2. (text messaging) Replacing the sounding /-ɑː(r)/ (star) on any word that has this pronunciation or similar.
    e.g. *t (start), *fish (starfish), *g8 (stargate)