Definition of parenthesis
1a : an amplifying (see amplify 1) or explanatory word, phrase, or sentence inserted in a passage from which it is usually set off by punctuation explained further in a parenthesisb : a remark or passage that departs from the theme of a discourse : digression The speaker inserted some often amusing parentheses during his speech.
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 The plant's common name is followed by its Latin name in parentheses.
parentheticallyplay \ˌper-ən-ˈthe-ti-k(ə-)lē, pa-rən-\ adverb
Recent Examples of parenthesis from the Web
PHOTOS: KYLE LARSON THROUGH THE YEARS ONEMAIN FINANCIAL 200 RESULTS Saturday from the 1-mile Dover International Speedway (starting position in parentheses): 1.
How UO and UW compare (national rank in parentheses)
NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 Sunday At Charlotte Motor Speedway Concord, N.C. (Starting position in parentheses) 1.
Emoticons, which use the right parenthesis quite often.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parenthesis'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology 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: 1548
PARENTHESIS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of parenthesis for English Language Learners
: one of a pair of marks ( ) that are used around a word, phrase, sentence, number, etc.
PARENTHESIS Defined for Kids
Definition of parenthesis for Students
: one of a pair of marks ( ) used to enclose a word or group of words or to group mathematical terms to be dealt with as a unit
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