Definition of asterisk in English:

asterisk

Syllabification: as·ter·isk
Pronunciation: /ˈastəˌrisk
 
/

noun

  • 1A symbol (*) used to mark printed or written text, typically as a reference to an annotation or to stand for omitted matter.
    More example sentences
    • Scholarly notes are usually signalled by superscript numbers at appropriate points in a text, but such symbols as asterisks and obelisks may be used instead for footnotes.
    • Many search engines employ wild cards - special symbols, usually an asterisk (*), that you add to a term to indicate different possibilities.
    • Everything should have asterisks and footnotes.
  • 1.1A thing resembling a star in shape: soft asterisks of pollen
    More example sentences
    • Toward the end, two dancers madly etched a blood-red asterisk shape, which took on a glow.

verb

[with object] (usually as adjective asterisked) Back to top  
  • Mark (printed or written text) with an asterisk: asterisked entries
    More example sentences
    • It seems only fair that the new records be somehow asterisked.
    • Newspapers still asterisk a word that's common currency in newsrooms up and down the country, but in literature the Chatterley classes started taking it as read.
    • All asterisked celebrities were pointed out to me by Seth, who is much better at recognizing famous people than I am, bless him.

Origin

late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek asteriskos 'small star', diminutive of astēr.

Usage

Even though asterisk does not look like a tricky word to pronounce, it can be problematic. In both its singular and plural forms, it is often mispronounced as if it ends with -rix. Pronounced correctly, it ends with a -risk sound when singular and -risks when plural.

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