- either or both of a pair of signs ( ) used in writing to mark off an interjected explanatory or qualifying remark, to indicate separate groupings of symbols in mathematics and symbolic logic, etc.
- Usually parentheses. the material contained within these marks.
- Grammar. a qualifying, explanatory, or appositive word, phrase, clause, or sentence that interrupts a syntactic construction without otherwise affecting it, having often a characteristic intonation and indicated in writing by commas, parentheses, or dashes, as in William Smith—you must know him—is coming tonight.
- an interval.
Origin of parenthesis
Examples from the Web for parenthesis
“When you have a food label and see quite a lot of parenthesis—first tip that your food may be highly fabricated,” she says.Foods That Fudge the Facts
January 26, 2011
"Then that's where one gets left," Bobby commented, by way of parenthesis.The Dominant Strain
Anna Chapin Ray
At the end of the chosen one there is a letter in parenthesis ( ).Trees of the Northern United States
Austin C. Apgar
Mrs. Black, astonished but imperturbable, bowed at this parenthesis.
Observe also that the comma in the first example is placed after, not before, the parenthesis."Stops"
The italic form of parenthesis is objectionable in book work.Punctuation
Frederick W. Hamilton
- a phrase, often explanatory or qualifying, inserted into a passage with which it is not grammatically connected, and marked off by brackets, dashes, etc
- Also called: bracket either of a pair of characters, (), used to enclose such a phrase or as a sign of aggregation in mathematical or logical expressions
- an intervening occurrence; interlude; interval
- in parenthesis inserted as a parenthesis
Word Origin and History for parenthesis
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]