Skip to main content
Select Source:

parenthesis

pa·ren·the·sis / pəˈren[unvoicedth]əsis/ • n. (pl. -ses / -ˌsēz/ ) a 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. ∎  (usu. parentheses) one or both of a pair of marks ( ) used to include such a word, clause, or sentence. ∎  an interlude or interval: the three months of coalition government were a lamentable political parenthesis. PHRASES: in parenthesis as a digression or afterthought. ORIGIN: mid 16th cent.: via late Latin from Greek, from parentithenai ‘put in beside.’

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"parenthesis." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"parenthesis." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/parenthesis-0

"parenthesis." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/parenthesis-0

PARENTHESIS

PARENTHESIS [Stress: ‘pa-REN-the-sis’. Plural parentheses (‘-seez’)].
1. In GRAMMAR, a qualifying, explanatory, or appositional word, phrase, clause, or sentence that interrupts a construction without otherwise affecting it. A written or printed parenthesis may be marked by pairs of COMMAS, DASHES, or round BRACKETS/parentheses: Our new manager (he has just this minute arrived) would like to meet you. A spoken parenthesis has the same intonation as an aside.

2. In the plural, a name for round brackets: the general term in AmE, but a less common, more technical term in BrE (short form parens). See ACADEMIC USAGE, ASIDE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"PARENTHESIS." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"PARENTHESIS." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/parenthesis

"PARENTHESIS." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/parenthesis

parenthesis

parenthesis qualifying matter introduced into a passage XVI; device used to mark this, e.g. () XVIII. — late L. — Gr. parénthesis, f. parentithénai place in besides; see PARA-1, EN-2, THESIS.
So parenthetic(al) XVII. — medL.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"parenthesis." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"parenthesis." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/parenthesis-1

"parenthesis." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/parenthesis-1

parenthesis

parenthesis: see punctuation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"parenthesis." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"parenthesis." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/parenthesis

"parenthesis." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/parenthesis

parenthesis

parenthesisglacis, Onassis •abscess •anaphylaxis, axis, praxis, taxis •Chalcis • Jancis • synapsis • catharsis •Frances, Francis •thesis • Alexis • amanuensis •prolepsis, sepsis, syllepsis •basis, oasis, stasis •amniocentesis, anamnesis, ascesis, catechesis, exegesis, mimesis, prosthesis, psychokinesis, telekinesis •ellipsis, paralipsis •Lachesis •analysis, catalysis, dialysis, paralysis, psychoanalysis •electrolysis • nemesis •genesis, parthenogenesis, pathogenesis •diaeresis (US dieresis) • metathesis •parenthesis •photosynthesis, synthesis •hypothesis, prothesis •crisis, Isis •proboscis • synopsis •apotheosis, chlorosis, cirrhosis, diagnosis, halitosis, hypnosis, kenosis, meiosis, metempsychosis, misdiagnosis, mononucleosis, myxomatosis, necrosis, neurosis, osmosis, osteoporosis, prognosis, psittacosis, psychosis, sclerosis, symbiosis, thrombosis, toxoplasmosis, trichinosis, tuberculosis •archdiocese, diocese, elephantiasis, psoriasis •anabasis • apodosis •emphasis, underemphasis •anamorphosis, metamorphosis •periphrasis • entasis • protasis •hypostasis, iconostasis

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"parenthesis." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"parenthesis." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/parenthesis

"parenthesis." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/parenthesis