parenthesis

play
noun pa·ren·the·sis \pə-ˈren(t)-thə-səs\

Definition of parenthesis

plural

parentheses

play \pə-ˈren(t)-thə-ˌsēz\
  1. 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.

  2. 2 :  interlude, interval The parenthesis of war interrupted the course of his life.

  3. 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.

parenthetical

play \ˌper-ən-ˈthe-ti-kəl, pa-rən-\ or less commonly

parenthetic

play \ˌper-ən-ˈthe-tik, pa-rən-\ adjective

parenthetically

play \ˌper-ən-ˈthe-ti-k(ə-)lē, pa-rən-\ adverb

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

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


PARENTHESIS Defined for English Language Learners

parenthesis

play
noun pa·ren·the·sis \pə-ˈren(t)-thə-səs\

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

parenthesis

play
noun pa·ren·the·sis \pə-ˈren-thə-səs\

Definition of parenthesis for Students

plural

parentheses

\-ˌsēz\
  1. :  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

parenthetical

\-ti-kəl\ adjective


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