Simple Definition of parenthesis
: one of a pair of marks ( ) that are used around a word, phrase, sentence, number, etc.
Full Definition of parenthesis
plural pa·ren·the·sesplay \-ˌsēz\
1 a : an amplifying or explanatory word, phrase, or sentence inserted in a passage from which it is usually set off by punctuation b : a remark or passage that departs from the theme of a discourse : digression
3 : one or both of the curved marks ( ) used in writing and printing to enclose a parenthetical expression or to group a symbolic unit in a logical or mathematical expression
Examples of parenthesis
<regarded her husband's brief fling with a coworker as no more than a parethesis in an otherwise solid marriage>
Origin of parenthesis
Late Latin, from Greek, literally, act of inserting, from parentithenai to insert, from para- + en- en- + tithenai to place — more at do
First Known Use: circa 1550
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