Definition of parenthesis in English:


Translate parenthesis into Spanish

nounplural noun parentheses/-ˌsēz/

  • 1A word, clause, or sentence inserted as an explanation or afterthought into a passage that is grammatically complete without it, in writing usually marked off by curved brackets, dashes, or commas.

    ‘The practice in writing and print of using a set of marks to regulate texts and clarify their meanings, principally by separating or linking words, phrases, and clauses, and by indicating parentheses and asides.’
    • ‘Even if the subordinate clauses open up a parenthesis that seems to last for ever, they do close, eventually, in a completed thought.’
    • ‘The parentheses in that sentence are meant to be tongue-in-cheek, and that's really the tone I was aiming for there: a straightforward description with a little bit of irony added.’
    • ‘One instantly recognizes his modulated and finely tuned free verse line, with its meandering parentheses and doubled back hesitations.’
    • ‘The second and third dashes are problematic in that they appear in the same extended sentence and suggest a parenthesis when in fact they function independently: they interrupt and separate rather than link.’
    parenthesis, brace
    1. 1.1usually parenthesesA pair of round brackets ( ) used to mark off a parenthetical word or phrase.
      ‘Similarly, if the sentence about snow were named with the numeral 88 inside a pair of parentheses, then would be true just in case it is snowing.’
      • ‘Candidates' membership in chapters may be longer than 10 years, but only dates 10 years back are included in parentheses following an activity.’
      • ‘The gene markers included in parentheses were not mapped in our backcross; rather, approximate locations of these markers were deduced from other genetic maps.’
      • ‘Where the data was available, the actual wavelengths studied are included in parentheses so that readers may draw their own conclusions.’
      • ‘The command-line interface is included in parentheses for those of you who still type commands.’
      • ‘Further references to this essay are included in parentheses in the text.’
      • ‘It's actually a pretty straightforward quiz, no questions about the minor uses of parentheses or diacritics or anything like that.’
      • ‘A list is a sequence of syntactic tokens enclosed in a pair of parentheses.’
      • ‘In the typically anonymous world of cyberspace - where parentheses and colons represent emotions and facial expressions - I'd met my namesake.’
      • ‘By the way, can I draw everyone's attention to my overuse of parentheses in the last paragraph?’
      • ‘The parentheses are in the original and mark controversial phrases not yet decided upon.’
      • ‘If you are printing text, you include the text between the parentheses and within double quotes.’
      • ‘And if you can't find these in Calgary, we've included the name of the company releasing each title in parentheses, along with the director's name.’
      • ‘In online discussion groups, include the word ‘long’ in parentheses at the end of the subject line of your message or indicate at the top of the body of the message that yours will be a long response.’
      • ‘Right below are the questions, along with the percentage of US respondents who answered the question correctly in parentheses.’
      • ‘I wonder what it says about messages with those smiley faces made from colons and parentheses?’
      • ‘The asterisk in parentheses indicates a significant trend opposite to other groups.’
      • ‘The asterisk in parentheses indicates that an amino acid may or may not be present at that position.’
      • ‘On some of the questions, I will describe the questioner in parentheses.’
      • ‘Players elected by members of the Baseball Writers Association to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot include the following with the year of their induction in parentheses.’
    2. 1.2An interlude or interval.
      ‘the three months of coalition government were a lamentable political parenthesis’
      • ‘Was it an interlude, a parenthesis, a hiccup, an embarrassment, or a beginning?’
      • ‘As political correctness irons out the parenthesis of prejudice, there will always be a special, sour dispensation for Bismark's baby; hating the Hun is perhaps the only thing that truly emulsifies the rest of us.’



/pəˈrenTHəsəs/ /pəˈrɛnθəsəs/


    in parenthesis
    • As a digression or afterthought.

      ‘in parenthesis I should say that I am passing quickly over the significance of these matters’
      • ‘Well, as is the case for just about everything that does well on home video, the makers of Friday have concocted yet another adventure with weed in parenthesis.’
      • ‘We note in parenthesis that, when a Customs officer stated in interview that ‘I understand that it's not for your personal use’, Mr Taylor replied ‘Not all of it no’.’
      • ‘(I observe in parenthesis that the St Catherine's site was site 8).’
      • ‘We observe in parenthesis that the transcript of the evidence at trial is not available; however, it is not suggested that its absence is material to the broad ground of appeal as we have summarised it.’
      • ‘As we say in that part in parenthesis there, a development control plan, which is discretion guiding, could not have an adverse effect on as of right use because you are entitled to do it.’
      • ‘Except for the part in parenthesis, yes, I agree.’
      • ‘The Donaldson ruling appears just fleetingly in parenthesis in Peters' chapter and little direct attention is paid to the important work of scholars such as Mark Rose on this topic.’
      • ‘He lists the other travelers on the Cuba excursion as if they are all simply types, with whispered attacks in parenthesis.’
      • ‘This was a throwaway observation, in parenthesis, so that we might forgive Wrightson for overlooking it.’
      • ‘I should add in parenthesis that the sixth reason there stated, that Mr Atkins has agreed to give evidence in New York but not elsewhere, is wrong.’


Mid 16th century via late Latin from Greek, from parentithenai ‘put in beside’.