wild card Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “wild card” in the English Dictionary

"wild card" in British English

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wild cardnoun [C]

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wild card noun [C] (COMPUTING)

specialized computing in ​computers, a ​symbol that has no ​particularmeaning of ​its own so that ​itsspace can be ​filled by any ​realcharacter that is ​necessary: The ​wildcards 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 ​winninggames: Phillips is ​hoping for a ​wildcardentry to the ​championships.

wild card noun [C] (NOT KNOWN)

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

"wild card" in American English

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wild cardnoun [C]

 /ˈwɑɪld ˌkɑrd/

wild card noun [C] (ANY VALUE)

(in some card ​games) a card that can be used ​instead of any other: fig. Undecided ​voters are this election’s wild card.

wild card noun [C] (CHANCE TO PLAY)

(in ​sports) an ​extraopportunity to ​qualify for a championshipcompetition
(Definition of wild card from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"wild card" in Business English

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wild cardnoun [C]

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someone or something whose ​behaviour or ​effect is uncertain: US ​consumerconfidence remains the wild ​card in the ​unpredictableeconomicclimate.
IT, INTERNET a ​symbol used in ​computerprograms to ​represent any ​number or ​letter: The wild ​cards in this ​string are ​represented by asterisks.
(Definition of wild card from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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