Parenthesis Definition

pə-rĕnthĭ-sĭs
parentheses
noun
parentheses
An additional word, clause, etc. placed as an explanation or comment within an already complete sentence: in writing or printing it is usually marked off by curved lines, dashes, or commas.
Webster's New World
Either or both of the curved lines, ( ), used to mark off parenthetical words, etc. or to enclose mathematical or logical symbols that are to be treated as a single term.
Webster's New World
A qualifying or amplifying word, phrase, or sentence inserted within written matter in such a way as to be independent of the surrounding grammatical structure.
American Heritage
An episode or incident, often an irrelevant one; interlude.
Webster's New World
A comment departing from the theme of discourse; a digression.
American Heritage
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Other Word Forms of Parenthesis

Noun

Singular:
parenthesis
Plural:
parentheses

Origin of Parenthesis

  • Either indirectly via Middle French parenthese or directly from Late Latin parenthesis (“addition of a letter to a syllable in a word"), from Ancient Greek παρένθεσις (parenthesis), from παρεντίθημι (parentithÄ“mi, “I put in beside, mix up"), from παρά (para, “beside") + ἐν (en, “in") + τίθημι (tithÄ“mi, “put, place") (from Proto-Indo-European base *dhe- "to put, to do").

    From Wiktionary

  • Late Latin insertion of a letter or syllable in a word from Greek from parentithenai to insert para- beside para–1 en- in en in Indo-European roots tithenai to put dhē- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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