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parenthesis

[puh-ren-thuh-sis] /pəˈrɛn θə sɪs/
noun, plural parentheses
[puh-ren-thuh-seez] /pəˈrɛn θəˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
1.
either or both of a pair of signs () used in writing to mark off an interjected explanatory or qualifying remark, to indicate separate groupings of symbols in mathematics and symbolic logic, etc.
2.
Usually, parentheses. the material contained within these marks.
3.
Grammar. a qualifying, explanatory, or appositive word, phrase, clause, or sentence that interrupts a syntactic construction without otherwise affecting it, having often a characteristic intonation and indicated in writing by commas, parentheses, or dashes, as in William Smith—you must know him—is coming tonight.
4.
an interval.
Origin
1560-1570
1560-70; < Late Latin < Greek parénthesis a putting in beside. See par-, en-2, thesis
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for parenthesis'

parenthesis

/pəˈrɛnθɪsɪs/
noun (pl) -ses (-ˌsiːz)
1.
a phrase, often explanatory or qualifying, inserted into a passage with which it is not grammatically connected, and marked off by brackets, dashes, etc
2.
Also called bracket. either of a pair of characters, (), used to enclose such a phrase or as a sign of aggregation in mathematical or logical expressions
3.
an intervening occurrence; interlude; interval
4.
in parenthesis, inserted as a parenthesis
Derived Forms
parenthetic (ˌpærənˈθɛtɪk), parenthetical, adjective
parenthetically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: via Late Latin from Greek: something placed in besides, from parentithenai, from para-1 + en-² + tithenai to put
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for parenthesis'
parenthesis
1550, "words, clauses, etc. inserted into a sentence," from M.Fr. parenthèse, from L.L. parenthesis "addition of a letter to a syllable in a word," from Gk. parenthesis, lit. "a putting in beside," from parentithenai "put in beside," from para- "beside" + en- "in" + tithenai "put, place," from PIE base *dhe- "to put, to do" (see factitious). Extension of the word to the curved brackets that indicate the words inserted is from 1715.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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