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English definition of “wild card”

wild card

noun [C] uk   us  

wild card noun [C] (COMPUTING)

specialized computing in computers, a symbol that has no particular meaning of its own so that its space can be filled by any real character that is necessary: The wild cards are represented here by asterisks.

wild card noun [C] (COMPETITION)

someone who is allowed to take part in a competition, even though they have not achieved this in the usual way, for example by winning games: Phillips is hoping for a wild card entry to the championships.

wild card noun [C] (NOT KNOWN)

someone or something whose behaviour is sometimes unexpected: The wild card in this election is the Green Party - no one knows exactly how much support they will get.
(Definition of wild card from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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