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wild card

noun

Simple Definition of wild card

  • : a playing card that can represent any other card in a game

  • : a person or thing that could affect a situation in a way that cannot be predicted : an unknown or unpredictable factor

  • sports : a player or team chosen to fill a place in a competition after the regularly qualified players or teams have all been decided

Full Definition of wild card

  1. 1 :  an unknown or unpredictable factor

  2. 2 :  one picked to fill a leftover playoff or tournament berth after regularly qualifying competitors have all been determined

  3. 3 usually wild·card :  a symbol (as ? or *) used in a keyword database search to represent the presence of zero, one, or more than one unspecified characters

Examples of wild card

  1. The joker is a wild card.

  2. Taxes are the wild card in this election.

  3. The team made it into the play-offs as the wild card.



Origin of wild card

wild card, playing card with arbitrarily determined value


First Known Use: 1971



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