noun, plural pa·ren·the·ses [puh-ren-thuh-seez] /pəˈrɛn θəˌsiz/.
Examples from the Web for parentheses
On my computer, there was a contented little stream of smiley faces, made from colons and parentheses.
On some reading devices, inline stage directions are set off from the text by parentheses added by the transcriber.The Fatal Dowry|Philip Massinger
I wish to add one remark, here—in parentheses, so to speak—suggested by the word "snowy," which I have just used.A Tramp Abroad, Complete|Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
These lines are called parenthesis, marks of parenthesis, or parentheses.Why We Punctuate|William Livingston Klein
British Dictionary definitions for parentheses
noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)
Word Origin for parenthesis
Word Origin and History for parentheses
1540s, "words, clauses, etc. inserted into a sentence," from Middle French parenthèse (15c.), from Late Latin parenthesis "addition of a letter to a syllable in a word," from Greek parenthesis, literally "a putting in beside," from parentithenai "put in beside," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + en- "in" + tithenai "put, place," from PIE root *dhe- "to put, to do" (see factitious). Sense extension by 1715 from the inserted words to the curved brackets that indicate the words inserted.
A wooden parenthesis; the pillory. An iron parenthesis; a prison. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]
Culture definitions for parentheses
Punctuation marks — ( ) — used to separate elements in a sentence. Parentheses subordinate (see subordination) the material within them so that readers save most of their attention for the rest of the sentence: “Aunt Sarah (who is really my mother's cousin) will be visiting next week.”