An asterisk (*; Late Latin: asteriscus, from Greek: ἀστερίσκος, asteriskos, "little star") is a typographical symbol or glyph. It is so called because it resembles a conventional image of a star.
The asterisk is derived from the need of the printers of family trees in feudal times for a symbol to indicate date of birth. The original shape was seven-armed, each arm like a teardrop shooting from the center.
In computer science, the asterisk is commonly used as a wildcard character, or to denote pointers, repetition, or multiplication.