The asterisk *, from Late Latin asteriscus, from Ancient Greek ἀστερίσκος, asteriskos, "little star", is a typographical symbol. It is so called because it resembles a conventional image of a star.
Computer scientists and mathematicians often vocalize it as star (as, for example, in the A* search algorithm or C*-algebra). In English, an asterisk is usually five-pointed in sans-serif typefaces, six-pointed in serif typefaces, and six- or eight-pointed when handwritten. Its most common use is to call out a footnote.
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