typographical symbol or glyph
The asterisk (*) is a snowflake-like typographic symbol or glyph.
It is so-called because it looks like an image of a star. Computer scientists and mathematicians often speak it as star. Example: the A* search algorithm.
In English, an asterisk is usually five-pointed or six-pointed in typefaces, and six- or eight-pointed when handwritten. It can be used as censorship. It is also used on the internet to correct one's spelling, in which case it appears after the correct word.
- ↑ from Greek: ἀστερίσκος, asteriskos, "little star" ἀστερίσκος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus.