Definition of parenthesis
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
parentheticallyplay \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ 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: circa 1550
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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