wild card or *.*
A part of a character string that, when used in text searches, makes finding a match much easier. When you are doing an online search on a search engine, you can place an asterisk (*) at the end of a keyword to broaden your search and retrieve more information. Here's how it works: If you type "market*" you'll find words that contain the root "market" as well as words such as "marketing," "marketplace," "marketer," or "markets." A wild card is also a keyboard symbol (such as an asterisk or a question mark) that in some programming languages can take the place of any other character.
NetLingo Classification: Technical Terms