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.
- Either or both of the upright curved lines, ( ), used to mark off explanatory or qualifying remarks in writing or printing or enclose a sum, product, or other expression considered or treated as a collective entity in a mathematical operation.
- A qualifying or amplifying word, phrase, or sentence inserted within written matter in such a way as to be independent of the surrounding grammatical structure.
- A comment departing from the theme of discourse; a digression.
- An interruption of continuity; an interval: "This is one of the things I wasn't prepared for—the amount of unfilled time, the long parentheses of nothing” ( Margaret Atwood).