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asterisk (n.)
"figure used in printing and writing to indicate footnote, omission, etc., or to distinguish words or phrases as conjectural," late 14c., asterich, asterisc, from Late Latin asteriscus, from Greek asteriskos "little star," diminutive of aster "star" (from PIE root *ster- (2) "star"). As a verb from 1733.
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*ster- (2)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "star." Buck and others doubt the old suggestion that it is a borrowing from Akkadian istar "venus." The source of the common Balto-Slavic word for "star" (Lithuanian žvaigždė, Old Church Slavonic zvezda, Polish gwiazda, Russian zvezda) is not explained.

It forms all or part of: aster; asterisk; asterism; asteroid; astral; astro-; astrobiology; astrobleme; astrognosy; astroid; astrolabe; astrolatry; astrology; astromancy; astronaut; astronomy; AstroTurf; constellation; disaster; Estella; Esther; instellation; interstellar; lodestar; star; stardust; starfish; starlet; starlight; starry; stellar; stellate.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit star-; Hittite shittar, Greek aster "star," with derivative astron; Latin stella, Breton sterenn, Welsh seren "star."

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star (v.)
1590s, "to affix a star or asterisk to," from star (n.). From 1718 as "to set with stars." Meaning "perform the lead part" (of actors, singers, etc.) is from 1824. Sporting sense is from 1916. Related: Starred; starring.
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pilcrow (n.)

"paragraph mark" ( ¶ ), 1570s, a corruption (based on crow (n.), from perceived resemblance of an early, solid form of the mark) of pilcraft "a paragraph mark; a paragraph; an asterisk" (mid-15c.), itself a corruption (perhaps influenced by English craft) of Old French pelagraphe, a variant of paragrafe (see paragraph).

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