wild card

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wild card

1. In a card game, a card that the player can choose to represent any card. He's going to play his wild card as an ace to win.
2. Someone or something that is unpredictable. He is too much of a wild card to be a successful candidate. Nobody wants to vote for someone wildly unpredictable. The wild card in this game will be the weather.
3. A person or team who is permitted to participate in an event or competition, such as a round of playoffs, without having to adhere to the usual entry protocol. The wild card rarely wins the championship, but anything is possible.
4. In computing, a character that is substituted for an unknown character in a search. An asterisk is often used as a wild card in database searches.
See also: card, wild

wild card

An unpredictable person or event, as in Don't count on his support-he's a wild card, or A traffic jam? That's a wild card we didn't expect. This expression comes from card games, especially poker, where it refers to a card that can stand for any rank chosen by the player who holds it. The term was adopted in sports for an additional player or team chosen to take part in a contest after the regular places have been taken. It is also used in computer terminology for a symbol that stands for one or more characters in searches for files that share a common specification. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1900s.
See also: card, wild

a wild card

You describe someone or something as a wild card when they cause uncertainty because nobody knows how they will behave or what effects they will have. Some Italians think of her as a possible wild card in next year's presidential election. Note: In games such as poker, a wild card is a card that can have any value a player chooses.
See also: card, wild

wild card

An unpredictable person or event. The expression originated in poker and other card games, where a wild card may represent any rank chosen by the player holding it. It first was transferred to sports, for an additional player or team chosen to take part in a competition, and then to computer terminology, for a symbol that stands for one or more characters in searches for files. It has been used figuratively since the mid-1900s. For example, “The flight was canceled? That’s a wild card we didn’t count on,” or “Henry’s always been a wild card—you don’t know which way he’ll vote.”
See also: card, wild
References in periodicals archive ?
"We were hoping to maybe hold a wildcard until a little bit closer to the time to see how I might feel and get some matches hopefully and a bit of practice.
The Scot said: "We were hoping to hold a wildcard until nearer the time and see how it feels.
Since most people don't know that VLOOKUP will support wildcards, it seems more likely that people will perform a VLOOKUP where their lookup value happens to contain a character that wasn't intended to represent a wildcard.
Wimbledon chiefs have suggested they may extend the deadline for Andy Murray to apply for a wildcard to compete at this year's championships as the two-time winner battles to regain fitness.The British former world number one, currently ranked 218th in the world, is recovering from hip surgery and has yet to set a date for a potential return.
a wildcard office means an office that fulfils the terms for registration in the norske arkitekters landsforbund~s (nal) wildcard list.
Jaziri, the world number 117, entered the tournament on a wildcard and went on to reach the semifinals - his first semifinal in a Premier 500 tournament.
Qatar's Mubarka al-Nuaimi has been awarded a wildcard into the qualifying rounds of 2018 Qatar Total Open by the Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF).
Sharapova was denied a wildcard for the French Open, missed Wimbledon through injury and reached the US Open's fourth round as a wildcard before losing to Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova.
The move by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) comes after Sharapova, ranked 148th this week, was rejected for a wildcard spot into the French Open and missed Wimbledon with a thigh injury.
MARIA Sharapova has taken the decision on whether she should be given a wildcard to Wimbledon out of the tournament's hands by announcing she will compete in the qualifying rounds.
It had been expected that the FFT would hand Sharapova, who won the 2012 and 2014 titles on the Parisian clay at least a wildcard into the qualifying tournament.
Two-time French Open champion Maria Sharapova has been denied a wildcard to this year's tournament.
The club's sub-committee, which will be chaired by former British number one Tim Henman, will then meet and make a decision on Sharapova - as long as the Russian does not qualify by ranking and submits a wildcard application.
LIAM Williams could see his hopes of playing for Wales next season relying on a wildcard selection if he joins Aviva Premiership champions Saracens.