From Late Latin parenthesis (“addition of a letter to a syllable in a word”), from Ancient Greek παρένθεσις (parénthesis), from παρεντίθημι (parentíthēmi, “I put in beside, mix up”), from παρά (pará, “beside”) + ἐν (en, “in”) + τίθημι (títhēmi, “put, place”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeh₁- (“to put, to do”).
- A clause, phrase or word which is inserted (usually for explanation or amplification) into a passage which is already grammatically complete, and usually marked off with brackets, commas or dashes.
- Either of a pair of brackets, especially round brackets, ( and ) (used to enclose parenthetical material in a text).
- 1824, John Johnson, Typographia, Or the Printer's Instructor, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green:
- There be five manner of points and divisions most used among cunning men; the which if they be well used, make the sentence very light and easy to be understood, both to the reader and hearer: and they be these, virgil,—come,—parenthesis,—plain point,—interrogative […] it is a slender stroke leaning forward, betokening a little short rest, without any perfectness yet of sentence.
- 1842, F. Francillon, An Essay on Punctuation, page 9:
- 2018, James Lambert, “Anglo-Indian slang in dictionaries on historical principles”, in World Englishes, volume 37, page 255:
- [T]he present research also made an effort to approach a greater accuracy in presenting the original sources of borrowed words. This was achieved by presenting etymons from Hindustani in the Devanagari script followed by a transliteration in the Roman alphabet in parentheses.
- (rhetoric) A digression; the use of such digressions.
- 1837, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Ethel Churchill, volume 2, page 113:
- Mr. Trevanion was one of those talkers, who are too much engrossed with their own subject matter to have much attention to bestow elsewhere; with them silence is attention. Ethel's wandering eye, and lip, tremulous with its effort to speak, would never have attracted his notice. To his utter astonishment, she interrupted a parenthesis, as brilliant as the rocket which it depicted, by saying,—
"Mr. Trevanion, I do not know what you will think of my boldness, but I must speak to you."
- 2009, Up in the Air:
- Ryan Bingham (George Clooney): I thought I was a part of your life.
Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga): I thought we signed up for the same thing […] I thought our relationship was perfectly clear. You are an escape. You're a break from our normal lives. You're a parenthesis.
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney): I'm a parenthesis?
- (mathematics, logic) Such brackets as used to clarify expressions by grouping those terms affected by a common operator, or to enclose the components of a vector or the elements of a matrix.
- (clause, phrase or word): parenthetical expression
- (brackets): round bracket; parenthesis-point (obsolete)
- paren (abbreviation, for the meaning "round bracket")
- See also Thesaurus:bracket
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.