Two common signs
for asterisk used
in typography. The asterisk is used as a sign meaning
footnote, i.e. a
short comment or explanation, or a reference to a source of
information relevant to the main text of a book or a magazine
article, added by the writer and put at the bottom of the pages.
As a sign for footnotes the asterisk is sometimes replaced by the dagger.
In astrological contexts the asterisk can signify the sextile aspect. Usually that aspect is symbolized by .
In botany it has been used for a subspecies. In books about mushroom picking and mushroom flora an asterisk close to the name of the mushroom usually means that it is edible, while two such signs mean that a mushroom is good, and three, that it is very tasty.
In musical notation an asterisk indicates that the pedal should be used when playing the piano.
Finally, asterisks can be used in texts to indicate words left out although three full stops is the more common ideogram for this meaning. Note that "asterisk" comes from the Greek word asterikos meaning a small star.