n. (alt. 'regex' or 'reg-ex') 1. Common written and spoken abbreviation for 'regular expression', one of the wildcard patterns used, e.g., by UNIX utilities such as 'grep(1)', 'sed(1)', and 'awk(1)'. These use conventions similar to but more elaborate than those described under glob. For purposes of this lexicon, it is sufficient to note that regexps also allow complemented character sets using '^'; thus, one can specify 'any non-alphabetic character' with '[^A-Za-z]'.