Definition of wild card in English:

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wild card

Pronunciation: /ˈwīl(d) ˌkärd/


1A playing card that can have any value, suit, color, or other property in a game at the discretion of the player holding it.
Example sentences
  • It was subsequently adopted in versions of Poker, Rummy and other games as a wild card which could be used as a substitute for any desired card.
  • If the joker is turned up, there are no wild cards and the value of the hand is doubled.
  • If your team starts a meld of wild cards, you cannot add any wild cards to any of your other melds until your wild card canasta is complete.
1.1A person or thing whose influence is unpredictable or whose qualities are uncertain.
Example sentences
  • One wild card is the uncertainty surrounding the membership of the FCC.
  • He too forfeits, the sex and mystery of a wild card like Coco no longer in his life.
  • The Brotherhood is the wild card in the reform game.
1.2 Computing A character that will match any character or sequence of characters in a search.
Example sentences
  • Many search engines employ wild cards - special symbols, usually an asterisk (*), that you add to a term to indicate different possibilities.
  • You can run the program against multiple files by using wild cards in the filename.
  • Try the asterisk (*) wild card when searching for a phrase.
1.3An opportunity to enter a sports competition without having to take part in qualifying matches or be ranked at a particular level.
Example sentences
  • The young Bulgarian entered the competition with a wild card, thanks to one of the most popular management companies in the world, IMG.
  • Hingis will, undoubtedly, be showered with wild cards to enter any tournament she chooses.
  • ‘Yayuk failed to receive the wild card as her world ranking in both singles and doubles event did not meet the qualification,’ Benny explained.
1.4A player or team granted a wild card.
Example sentences
  • To gain the playoffs as the wild card, a team will need 90 wins, according to the best estimates.
  • The realignment with four divisions within each conference makes it so that the four division winners plus two wild cards will make the playoffs from both the AFC and NFC.
  • The next season gave us the world champion Ravens, a 12-4 wild card team that finished 8-8 in 1999.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: wild card

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