a wild card

a wild card

 
1. someone or something that you do not know much about and whose behaviour in the future you cannot be certain of The real wild card is the undecided vote, which accounts for 18 to 25 percent of the electorate. The company is fast gaining a reputation as the wild card of Wall Street because of violent fluctuations in its profits.
2. if someone gets a wild card or is a wild card in a sports competition, they are allowed to enter the competition without passing the usual tests She was included in the European team as a wild card.
See also: card, wild
References in periodicals archive ?
The New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Oakland A's, and Los Angeles Angels are all battling for either a division title or to clinch a wild card in the American League.
The Orioles, who are heading to the playoffs with at least a wild card spot, face a Rays squad that will give it their all with the hope that they can somehow find a way to squeak into the postseason.
The Angels have done that now, earning their first back-to-back division titles and playoff appearances after winning the '02 World Series as a wild card, all of it under Mike Scioscia.
The Angels have done that now, winning their first back-to-back division titles and playoff appearances after winning the `02 World Series as a wild card, all of it under Mike Scioscia.
Manny Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox won the World Series last year as a wild card team after losing the American League East crown to the N.
Not all the players are as eager about making the playoffs as a wild card, though.
That's the way it is in a pennant race, even if you are repulsed by the thought of a wild card.
A win over Modesto (70-65 overall) either tonight or Thursday and the JetHawks (73-62) clinch no worse than a wild card berth.