Definitions for: Parenthesis

[n] a message that departs from the main subject
[n] either of two punctuation marks (or) used to enclose textual material

Webster (1913) Definition: Pa*ren"the*sis, n.; pl. Parentheses. [NL., fr.
Gr. ?, fr. ? to put in beside, insert; ? beside + ? in + ? to
put, place. See Para-, En-, 2, and Thesis.]
1. A word, phrase, or sentence, by way of comment or
explanation, inserted in, or attached to, a sentence which
would be grammatically complete without it. It is usually
inclosed within curved lines (see def. 2 below), or
dashes. ``Seldom mentioned without a derogatory
parenthesis.'' --Sir T. Browne.

Don't suffer every occasional thought to carry you
away into a long parenthesis. --Watts.

2. (Print.) One of the curved lines () which inclose a
parenthetic word or phrase.

Note: Parenthesis, in technical grammar, is that part of a
sentence which is inclosed within the recognized sign;
but many phrases and sentences which are punctuated by
commas are logically parenthetical. In def. 1, the
phrase ``by way of comment or explanation'' is inserted
for explanation, and the sentence would be
grammatically complete without it. The present tendency
is to avoid using the distinctive marks, except when
confusion would arise from a less conspicuous

Synonyms: aside, digression, divagation, excursus

See Also: content, message, punctuation, punctuation mark, subject matter, substance

Try our:
Scrabble Word Finder

Scrabble Cheat

Words With Friends Cheat

Hanging With Friends Cheat

Scramble With Friends Cheat

Ruzzle Cheat

Related Resources:
animlas that start with t
animals begin with u