: the character * used in printing or writing as a reference mark, as an indication of the omission of letters or words, to denote a hypothetical or unattested linguistic form, or for various arbitrary meanings
: the character * thought of as being appended to something (such as an athletic accomplishment included in a record book) typically in order to indicate that there is a limiting fact or consideration which makes that thing less important or impressive than it would otherwise be
- But the men's triumph came with an asterisk: The Soviets, three-time gold medalists, had boycotted the Games.
- —Brad Young
: someone or something considered too minor for prominent mention : footnote
- At fifty-four, he had followed war from the hills of Italy to the islands of the Pacific to the mountains of Korea, and countless other places already becoming asterisks in the history books.
- —William Prochnau