- of, constituting, or including a wild card.
- Informal. of, being, or including an unpredictable or unproven element, person, item, etc.
- Sports. of, being, or including an unseeded or unproven participant or team, as a team in a championship tournament that has not placed first in its league or area.
Origin of wild-card
- Cards. a card having its value decided by the wishes of the players.
- a determining or important person or thing whose qualities are unknown, indeterminate, or unpredictable: In a sailboat race the weather is the wild card.
- Tennis. a player, usually without ranking, who is allowed to enter a tournament at the discretion of the tournament committee after regularly qualifying competitors have been selected.
Origin of wild card
Examples from the Web for wild-card
Contemporary Examples of wild-card
The only wild-card is the Secretary of State John Kerry, who is said to be "obsessed" with the issue.How Obama Gave Up On The Peace Process
March 25, 2013
- See wild (def. 14)
- sport a player or team that has not qualified for a competition but is allowed to take part, at the organizers' discretion, after all the regular places have been taken
- an unpredictable element in a situation
- computing a symbol that can represent any character or group of characters, as in a filename
Word Origin and History for wild-card
Idioms and Phrases with 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.