Definition of wild card in English:

wild card


  • 1A playing card that can have any value, suit, color, or other property in a game at the discretion of the player holding it.

    • ‘In this version all the threes and the two jokers are wild cards that can represent any other card.’
    • ‘Further cards, beyond seven, can be added to a canasta, but if you add wild cards to a pure canasta, this degrades it to a mixed canasta.’
    • ‘You can also make a meld consisting entirely of wild cards - twos and jokers.’
    • ‘The Reds were four games out of the wild card race with 23 games remaining.’
    • ‘Again, the Jokers are wild cards, and can be played at any time on any trick, with only rare exceptions.’
    • ‘It seems that wild cards are often used in four-card and five-card brag, but that three card brag is more often played without them.’
    • ‘The joker is a wild card which can be used only as an ace, or to complete a straight, a flush or a straight flush.’
    • ‘If the joker is turned up, there are no wild cards and the value of the hand is doubled.’
    • ‘The pack has 132 cards - three suits of different colours each contain 41 letter cards and two wild cards and there are three wild cards that can be used with any suit.’
    • ‘The jokers are not scoring cards but wild cards which can take on any value from 2 to 14.’
    • ‘The jokers may be shuffled into the deck as wild cards as well if you like, which also makes the game a bit more interesting.’
    • ‘Jokers are true wild cards, and can be used to complete any combination.’
    • ‘No card is turned for trumps - the only trumps are the four wild cards.’
    • ‘A natural meld can be turned into a mixed meld by adding wild cards to it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Since they are wild cards, any player holding one will be able to lay it off on the rapper's combinations.’
    • ‘Jokers can be used as wild cards to stand for any card from three to ace.’
    • ‘A meld containing three natural cards can have any number of wild cards added to it, since the first wild card added makes the meld a canasta.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jokers can be used wild cards to substitute for any card in a three or four, with the following restrictions.’
    1. 1.1A person or thing whose influence is unpredictable or whose qualities are uncertain.
      • ‘The Brotherhood is the wild card in the reform game.’
      • ‘We then need to address the role of ‘carbon sinks’, which remain the wild card in the search for flexible, low-cost solutions.’
      • ‘He too forfeits, the sex and mystery of a wild card like Coco no longer in his life.’
      • ‘One wild card is the uncertainty surrounding the membership of the FCC.’
      • ‘It remains the wild card in an economic game that is still too close to call.’
    2. 1.2Computing A character that will match any character or sequence of characters in a search.
      • ‘If you can remember only part of a phrase, for instance, you can use an asterisk as a wild card: ‘A Nightingale sang in * Square’ will tell you it was Berkeley Square.’
      • ‘Try the asterisk (*) wild card when searching for a phrase.’
      • ‘You can run the program against multiple files by using wild cards in the filename.’
      • ‘For a complete explanation of OpenSSL ciphers, including all supported wild cards, see the ciphers man page.’
      • ‘Many search engines employ wild cards - special symbols, usually an asterisk (*), that you add to a term to indicate different possibilities.’
    3. 1.3An opportunity to enter a sports competition without having to take part in qualifying matches or be ranked at a particular level.
      • ‘Montgomerie, of course, is no certainty to play in the Ryder Cup, but if he fails to qualify, a wild card will surely be his.’
      • ‘Hingis will, undoubtedly, be showered with wild cards to enter any tournament she chooses.’
      • ‘As for Cejka, there is much to admire in the German's play from tee-to-green, but one has to think that his relatively poor putting may work against him in the face of such stiff competition for a wild card.’
      • ‘‘Yayuk failed to receive the wild card as her world ranking in both singles and doubles event did not meet the qualification,’ Benny explained.’
      • ‘The young Bulgarian entered the competition with a wild card, thanks to one of the most popular management companies in the world, IMG.’
    4. 1.4A player or team granted a wild card.
      • ‘With two new divisions and no additional playoff spots, the realignment shuffle is going to make it all the more difficult for teams to reach the postseason as a wild card.’
      • ‘To gain the playoffs as the wild card, a team will need 90 wins, according to the best estimates.’
      • ‘Even if this team sneaks into the playoffs as a wild card, it clearly is not a playoff-caliber team.’
      • ‘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.’


wild card

/ˈwīl(d) ˌkärd/