Regular expressions are a means of matching a pattern of characters within a string.

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Regex and patterns on a ksh command line

I'm wondering what's the difference between using * and .* in a regex string. I guess, * stands for "0 to n characters" but I don't see what .* stands for. For example, what is the difference ...
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How to ask for specific parameters with grep?

I need to look in /usr/share/dict/words for a 5-letter word that starts with d or D, followed by a lowercase vowel, and ends with s. I have tried everything but to no avail.